HELLENS Manor in Much Marcle is one of Herefordshire’s jewels in the crown.

The team at Hellens have been undertaking a grand project tracing the manor’s history in stitches.

This beautiful historic house in Much Marcle, Herefordshire, is a living monument to much of England’s history.

Attractions include heirlooms of Anne Boleyn, the haunted bed chamber prepared for Queen Mary Tudor, the panelled Music Room adorned with its English Renaissance frieze, paintings by Gainsborough, Van Dyke, Peter Lely and Goya, and the fascinating story of Hetty Walwyn.

On Thursday March 31, Hellens are having an Open day to showcase the progress of an ambitious project ‘A History in Stitches’.

The 10 metre long crewelwork embroidery illustrates the story of Hellens Manor from its mention in the Doomsday book until the Pandemic of 2020/21.

It has been developed, researched, drawn, and embroidered by Heritage volunteers from Ross, Hereford and Malvern Art Societies.

The project began in 2017 and several key events have been completed: the Battle of Crecy, the 12th century revolution, the Courts Baron.

But this work will also show trees, flowers, birds, animals, workmen, buildings and so much more.

It will be some years before this epic project is completed and hung in the Minstrels’ Gallery at Hellens, so this is a chance to enjoy the progress of this wonderful project to date.

As well as the free exhibition, open from 10.30 until 3pm, tours of the House will be available (book online) and Hellens tearoom will be open for refreshments.

Hellens’ story connects through its residents with many key events in England’s history:

Earl Harold Godwinson, later King Harold II, Hellens’ first recorded owner

The de Balun family who witnessed the signing of the Magna Carta

Isolde Mortimer, whose brother Roger Mortimer ordered the murder of the defeated King Edward II and the delivery of the Great Seal of England to Isabella of France and the future King Edward III at Hellens

James Audley, hero of the Froissart Chronicles and boon companion to Edward the Black Prince

Richard Walwyn who prepared the bed chamber at Hellens for a visit from Queen Mary Tudor

The monk, killed by Roundheads during the Civil War who were searching the house for its Catholic owner.

Hetty Walwyn, imprisoned by her mother after a failed elopement.

Charles Walwyn Radcliffe Cooke, known as the MP for Cider, he encouraged Hugh Weston to develop his cider business.

Helena Gleichan, painter and great-niece of Queen Victoria, who stored paintings from the Tate Gallery in the Stone Hall at Hellens during the second world war.

Axel Munthe, author of The Story of San Michele, an autobiographical account of his life and work as physician and psychiatrist.

Further details can be found at hellensmanor.com