Witley Court in Worcestershire, Britain is a Grade one listed building and was once one of the great houses of the Midlands, but today it's an impressive ruin after being destroyed by fire in 1937.It was built by Thomas Foley in 1655 on the location of a previous estate house near Great Witley.Successive additions were designed by John Nash in the early 1800s and the Court was subsequently acquired by the Dudley family in 1837. The site was bought in 1953 by its current owners, the Wigington Family of Stratford-upon-Avon, for £20,000, and is in the guardianship of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and managed on its behalf by English Heritage since 1984. The earliest building on site was a Jacobean brick house built by the Russell family. After Civil War the house was sold to Thomas Foley, an ironmaster.
He erected 2 towers on the northerly side of the house and his grandchild Thomas Foley, the first Lord Foley added the wings which enclose the entrance yard. In 1735 the following Lord Foley made a new parish church to the west of this yard, an undertaking started by his pop. The church was given an outstanding baroque interior in 1747 when he commissioned James Gibbs to include paintings and furnishings bought at the sale of the contents of Cannons House. This was the superb Middlesex home of the Duke of Chandos from where the design was sent by canal to Great Witley. In the second 1/2 the eighteenth century the park was landscaped.
This included sweeping away the hamlet of Great Witley, which came too near to the south front ( rear ) of the house. The town was re-located to its present position. In about 1805 the third Lord employed John Nash to do a major reconstruction of the house, including the addition of large ionic porticoes to the north and south fronts. The portico on the south front is the biggest on any country house in Britain . In 1837 serious debt forced the fourth Lord to sell the estate to the curators of William, Lord Ward, later Earl of Dudley, who had inherited a great fortune from the coal and iron industries in the Black Country. In 1843 Witley Court was borrowed by Queen Adelaide, the widow of King William IV, who needed the pianos in the house to be tuned.
An area man, who had lately moved from London to line up his very own music agency and piano-tuning business, was endorsed.That man was William Elgar ( Edward Elgar's pa ), who was then to show the royal warrant on his business stationery. Edward Elgar changed into a mate of the Dudley family afterward thanks to his pops work at the house and would perform for them on the piano in the dancehall.