Walford Court is Grade 2 listed and was mentioned in Pevsner. Within its grounds stands an ancient motte and bailey believed to be sited on a Neolithic burial mound. On top of the motte once stood Walford Castle – a small stone fortress which would have kept intruders at bay, the medieval stone now forms part of the house walls and old barn.
It is thought that a chapel once stood on the front lawn between 2 ancient yew trees, and indeed we have unearthed the odd piece of gothic stonework!
The house is believed to have once been a court house, and contains many clues as to its importance – there is a medieval frieze which stretches across one internal wall, which is reported to depict the arrival of the newlyweds Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon to Ludlow castle, before his untimely death, and her subsequent marriage to the infamous Henry VIII. It shows the Pomegranate of Aragon, the Prince of Wales feathers, tudor roses, and many other symbols. A 12th century capitol showing a crowned lions head adorns another wall.
Clearly several carpenters were involved in building Walford Court, as you climb the old oak staircase to the first floor you can clearly see carved circles and arrows used for both construction and superstition, while in the deep beams in the other rooms the carpenters marks change to notches, lines and circles.
Many theories abound about which part of the building was constructed first – was it the wing used as a courthouse, with its fine large inglenook, medieval frieze, oak panelling and close studded exterior, or was it the wing of the dining room with its working inglenook and bread oven, and the Aragon suite over with flatted wagon wheels to add extra strength to the gnarled oak beams. All theories are listened to with interest!
Certainly the house contains at least 500 years of living and loving, and as you walk through the door you can feel the delightful warm atmosphere of a building that has clearly been well loved. You couldn’t re-create Walford Court – you can only celebrate its existence.