In the past month we’ve had some visitors to Charlecote and they’ve caused us to do a double-take! We’re sure we’ve seen their faces before, perhaps they’re regulars… no. Could they be… why yes… famous faces indeed!
Our teams were very excited to recognise TV’s Grand Designs presenter, Kevin McCloud and then, only a week later, the actor Oliver Ford Davis.
Over the years we do spot famous faces from time to time – in fact there are a number of famous people who live in our local area. Just take a look at this article by the Coventry Telegraph.
But it would seem that Charlecote has allured famous people to its gates for a long time. We all know that Shakespeare is alleged to have been in our park and Elizabeth I called in on a tour of the Midlands. But did you know that our Victorian Mistress of Charlecote, Mary Elizabeth, also greeted a number of very distinguished guests? She recounts the tale of Scottish novelist, poet and playwright, Sir Walter Scott’s visit in 1828 within her memoirs…
A quirky Staffordshire Pottery figurine of Sir Walter Scott, from the collection at Attingham Park.
…Sir Walter Scott and his daughter Ann paid old Charlecote a visit, so early that we were in bed and were awoke by the ringing of the front door bell; and don’t I remember our hurry to get dressed when we heard who it was that had arrived and were waiting for permission to see the house!
When we went down he and Miss Scott were intently surveying the pictures in the Great Hall. I see him now in my mind’s eye, advancing to meet us with the most genuine expression of benevolence and shrewd humour in his face, his hair white as snow and his eyebrows very thick and shaggy, his crippled foot giving him a limping gait. He remained with us for about two hours; … he seemed delighted with the place.
Mistress of Charlecote.
Chapter 2. 1824 – 1829: The Married Lady
So the next time you’re visiting Charlecote, take a moment to see who is standing next to you in the restaurant queue, you might just be surprised…