There’s a chance to see behind the scenes at Himley Hall when the summer season of guided tours starts this month.
Visitors will have the opportunity to look round unseen rooms that are not usually open to the public and discover the fascinating history behind the historic venue. Guides will give an insight into the life and times of Himley Hall including tales of the many royal visitors who have passed through its doors.
The guided tours take people on an extensive tour of the building, taking in the servants’ quarters, the butler’s sitting room and the Earl of Dudley’s bedrooms. Visitors can also see the refurbished north wing complete with art deco style Swimming Pool Room and Cinema Bar.
The tour of the hall lasts for approximately 90 minutes and is followed by tea, coffee and homemade biscuits. Tours cost £7.35 per person with refreshments included in the price.
Tours start at 7.15pm and 7.30pm on selected Wednesdays and Thursdays over the summer including 7, 20, 21 and 28 July; 4, 10, 17, 18, 24 and 31 August and 1 September. Other dates are already fully booked. There are 24 places available each evening with each tour accommodating up to 12 people. Places are limited and must be booked in advance by calling the hall reception on 01384 817817.
There has been a hall on the site since the 1600s when the original Himley Hall was a moated manor house, which stood next to the medieval church and village. For over four centuries it served as a home to the Lords of Dudley and their knights.
In the 1920s Himley became a regular weekend retreat for royal visitors. During this period modern amenities were introduced to the hall including plumbing, central heating, a cinema and a swimming pool. As an up-to-date, luxurious home, it was so fashionable that in 1934 the Duke and Duchess of Kent spent the first two weeks of their honeymoon at Himley.
Cllr Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development said:
“Himley Hall is a beautiful building with a remarkable history. Although it frequently welcomes people through its doors for events, weddings, afternoon teas and exhibitions, there are some parts of the hall which aren’t typically open to the public.
“These behind the scenes tours provide a fascinating insight into the life of the hall, its architecture, esteemed visitors and varied history and I’m sure visitors will find it an interesting experience.”