Boscobel House and the Royal Oak

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Boscobel House in Shropshire.  Eagle House, things to do

Boscobel House  is a Grade II* listed building most famous for its role in the escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Boscobel House was once surrounded by dense woodland and was originally a timber-framed farmhouse. The oldest part of the current House goes back to around 1595. At some point, in the early to mid 16th century, the farmhouse was developed into a hunting lodge.

In 1649 Charles I was executed during the English Civil Wars. His son, also Charles, went into hiding. A year so so later, Charles attempted to take back his father’s throne. The Battle of Worcester, in 1651, was his first attempt regain the throne. He was defeated and again forced into hiding. During this time, he hid from Parliamentarian forces at Boscobel House on the border of Shropshire and Staffordshire.

While at Boscobel House, Charles famously hid for an entire day in a “great oak” while Parliamentarian forces hunted for him below. There are hundreds of Pubs called ‘The Royal Oak’ in honor of this particular event (including one in the centre of Eccleshall, a five minute stroll form Eagle House ).

The original tree was destroyed by souvenir hunters in the mid 17th centaury, but a descendant of the Royal Oak can still be seen today at Boscobel House.

Royal oak at Boscobel House

We visited Boscobel House on a mild day at the start of Spring with a young teenager. The grounds and house were beautiful. There is also a play area for kids and a very nice cafe. The Oak itself has seen better days, but still worth a look for those interested in history.

There is ample parking, including disabled spaces, near the entrance to Boscobel House. The property is entered via a gift shop. There is no change in level but space is limited and maneuvering may prover troublesome for some quests with mobility issues. There is however, a separate gated entrance which can be opened and has no such issues.

Inside the house itself the staircases are steep and narrow with poor lighting.

Outdoor areas have no level changes but some surfaces are paved with cobbles or tiles. Sections with cobbles are very uneven and may be difficult for those with limited mobility. The Royal Oak is a short distance from the main property and is accessed via an uneven dirt path.

Boscobel House has an accessible toilet for visitors to use.

More information on accessibility and other castle information can be found on the English Heritage website.

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