Holbeche House

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Holbeche House
Holbeche House 357708 37f6fbc8.jpg
Holbeche House in 2007 is a care home
General information
Town or cityKingswinford near Dudley (formerly in Staffordshire)
Coordinates52°30′44″N 2°10′17″W / 52.5122°N 2.1713°W / 52.5122; -2.1713

Holbeche House (also, in some texts, Holbeach or Holbeache) is a mansion located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Kingswinford,[1] now in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley but historically in Staffordshire.[2] Some members of the Gunpowder Plot were either killed or captured at Holbeche House in 1605.

Gunpowder Plot[edit]

The Explosion at Holbeche, depicted by George Cruikshank (1792-1878)
Action at Holbeche House
Part of Gunpowder Plot
Date7 November 1605
Holbeche House
Result Government victory
Gunpowder plotters Government posse
Commanders and leaders
Robert Catesby  Richard Walsh
11 men 200 soldiers and militia
Casualties and losses
4 killed
7 wounded and captured (later executed)
None known

The Gunpowder Plot was an attempt by a small party of provincial English Catholics to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament, thereby killing James I and his court, as the prelude to a revolt during which a Catholic monarchy would be restored to the English throne.

It was after the failure of the plot that the fugitives took shelter in Holbeche House, owned by Stephen Lyttelton. They had taken supplies from Warwick Castle on 6 November and weapons and gunpowder from Hewell Grange on 7 November, but the powder became damp in the rain. After arriving at Holbeche House at about 10 pm, several were maimed when gunpowder left to dry in front of the fire was ignited by a stray spark. At about noon the next day, 8 November 1605, the house was surrounded by a posse led by Richard Walsh (the Sheriff of Worcestershire), originally seeking those responsible for the raid at Warwick Castle. Most of the plotters were either killed or wounded in the ensuing fight. Some walls have holes from muskets used in the storming of the house in 1605. Those still alive were taken to London and later tried and executed.[2]


The building was constructed in around 1600. The original house has a central block of three bays, with two stories and an attic with dormer windows, and projecting side wings with Dutch gables at each end. Some original wood panelling remains inside. New façades were added in the early 19th century, and the house was later expanded.

In 1951, it became a Grade II* listed building, as Holbeache House.[3] It is now a private nursing home operated by Four Seasons Health Care.


  1. ^ "Holbeche House, Staffordshire". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b Aikin, L. p.244
  3. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1228293)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 November 2012.


  • Lucy Aikin, Memoirs of the Court of King James the First . 1822
  • Katherine Thomson, Recollections of Literary Characters and Celebrated Places. 1854
  • John Bond, The Hazards of Life and All That: A Look at Some Accidents and Safety Curiosities, Past and Present . CRC Press, 1996. ISBN 0-7503-0360-3

Coordinates: 52°30′44″N 2°10′17″W / 52.51222°N 2.17139°W / 52.51222; -2.17139