Ragley Hall

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Ragley Hall
Ragley Hall Panorama Front.JPG
General information
Town or city Alcester, Warwickshire
Country England
Coordinates 52°11′53″N 1°53′46″W / 52.198°N 1.896°W / 52.198; -1.896Coordinates: 52°11′53″N 1°53′46″W / 52.198°N 1.896°W / 52.198; -1.896

Ragley Hall (grid reference SP073555) is a stately home, located south of Alcester, Warwickshire, eight miles (13 km) west of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is the ancestral seat of the Marquess of Hertford.


Ragley Hall illustrated by Jan Kip in Le Nouveau Theatre de la Grande Bretagne, 1697-99

The house, which was designed by Dr Robert Hooke, was built for the Edward Conway, 1st Earl of Conway and completed in 1680.[1] The Great Hall is thought to have been decorated by James Wyatt in 1780.[1]

Financial instability of the Seymour family left the house threatened with demolition more than once. In 1912, following the death of Hugh Seymour, 6th Marquess of Hertford, the estate's trustees recommended that the house be demolished. However, during World War I and World War II, the house found use as a military hospital. Hugh Seymour, 8th Marquess of Hertford, who inherited Ragley Hall from his uncle in 1940, fought to save it after the war. It was refurbished between 1956 and 1958, when it became one of the first stately homes opened to the public.[2]

In 1983, the painter Graham Rust completed a huge mural including pets, friends and family members which is known as "The Temptation" and is exhibited on the Southern staircase.[3]

Ragley was the site of the Jerwood Sculpture Park, opened in July 2004. The Park included works that won the Jerwood Sculpture Prizes, and the work of Dame Elisabeth Frink, among others. However the site was closed in April 2012.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Ragley Hall was used as a location in the 1982 television version of The Scarlet Pimpernel.[5]

Ragley Hall played the role of the even grander Palace of Versailles in the fourth episode of the second series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, titled The Girl in the Fireplace, first broadcast in May 2006.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Arrow". British History on line. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "8th Marquess of Hertford Saved Ragley Hall House and Gardens". Warwickshire Life. 7 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Be charmed by the elegance of Ragley Hall". BBC. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "A spring clear-out at Ragley Hall". The Telegraph. 10 Apr 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 TV Movie)". IMDB. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ragley Hall". Doctor Who Locations. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 

External links[edit]