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Madeley Court 5814

Brief Description

Madeley Court, which was once a grange of Wenlock priory, had a deer park in the 13th century. The park survived until at least the early 17th century. The current house is of the mid-16th century, which by the 17th century featured a garden to the west of the building, when it was enclosed with brick walls. Little is known of the garden, but an elaborate sundial survives from that period.


Madeley Court originated as a medieval grange and deer park of Wenlock Priory, but became a privately owned house and gardens from the 16th century onwards.

Visitor Facilities

More information
  • Manor House (featured building)
  • Description: The current house at Madeley Court was built in the late-16th century, and was once a highly valued piece of Elizabethan architecture. The house and gatehouse have been altered considerably from their original states in subsequent years. The gatehouse, with its twin polygonal towers, is complete, but has been converted into cottages. The house in its current form is L-shaped, but other original wings are missing. The interior of the house has been completely stripped, but there is a 13th century doorway at basement level visible beside the large chimneybreast. The porch is probably a Jacobean addition.
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  • Sundial
  • Description: In the gardens to the west of the house is a an elaborate sundial and 'astronomical toy.' It is comprised of a square block of stone about 4 feet in diameter, with holes for a large number of dials and a hemisphere on top. Originally it stood on 15-foot-tall pillars.
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Civil Parish

  • Madeley

Detailed History

There has been a house at Madeley Court from at least the 13th century, when it was a grange of the Priory of Wenlock. There was also a park there at that time, and it was restocked with royal deer in 1290, as an act of patronage to the priory. The park survived until at least the early 17th century.

After the Dissolution, in 1553, Madeley Court was bought by Sir Rupert Brooke, Speaker in the House of Commons, who built the house in its present style. He may have created the garden to the west of the house at this time, but it was definitely there in the 17th century, when it was enclosed by brick walls. The manor was later inherited by Sir Basil Brooke, the pioneering ironmaster, prominent Roman Catholic, and Royalist Civil War conspirator, who was Rupert's grandson. From 1709 until his death, the house was inhabited by Abraham Darby I, the Quaker industrialist, who ran the ironworks at Coalbrookdale. In 1780, Richard Reynolds, another Quaker ironmaster, bought the house.

The park and historic gardens are now lost, but the house is currently a hotel managed by Clarion Hotels International.

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