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By Ian Maddock - Posted on 16 April 2012

Waiting for lunch to be served
Kinver Rotarians and families with Chris & Sarah Douglas, tenants of Morville Hall

On Sunday 15th april a party of twenty-nine Kinver Rotarians and wives enjoyed an interesting day out at Morville in Shropshire. After coffee in the Dower House, its garden was the focus of the pre-lunch visit. In 1988 writer and garden historian Katherine Swift took a twenty year lease on a 1.5 acre field in the grounds of Morville Hall, together with the lease of the Dower House. She has created a wonderful garden which relates the story of Morville Hall and the people who have lived here, from the coming of the Benedictine monks in 1138, through the reign of Elizabeth I, the Civil War, through the Georgian and Victorian eras and up to the beginning of the twentieth century and the sale of Morville Hall after the First World War. The garden contains a sequence of gardens designed in the style of different historical periods each linked to an individual or family in the history of the house. There is a Turf Maze at the heart of the garden which joins past and present. Katherine was on hand to answer questions which made for a most enjoyable morning's visit.

After lunch at the nearby Acton Arms we returned to the Hall where we were greeted by tenants Chris and Sarah Douglas. Chris related the history of the house with great enthusiasm and knowledge. We were particularly interested in the way they have furnished the property, for their lease is on the unfurnished house. Chris has been an avid collector of antiques since he was twelve, and he has acquired an extensive collection of paintings and oak furniture over the years, which sits splendidly in the Hall. Chris and Sarah have clearly worked extremely hard and with great vision on restoration work since they have been there and have created a wonderful home and garden. The National Trust are clearly lucky to have such tenants.

Visits to the Hall are by written agreement with Chris and Sarah - details are in the National Trust Handbook.

Our visit was arranged by Mollie and Ian McPherson and Kate Brazier - to whom many thanks for a great day out.

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