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24 September 2014
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Boscobel House and the Royal Oak in 360° CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 360° IMAGES
Boscobel House Boscobel House And The Royal Oak, Bishopswood
Boscobel Lane, Staffs ST19 9AR

Charles II hid in a nearby oak tree to here to avoid Oliver Cromwell’s patrols...
A view of Boscobel House
This English Heritage timber-framed house is fully restored and furnished with panelled rooms and secret hiding places.
Charles II hid in the house (and nearby tree!) to avoid capture by Cromwell after the Battle of Worcester when he was defeated.

Information: 01902 850244.
Website & admission details:

Oscar the Cat   Oscar the Cat
Boscobel House is home to a white cat with a rather unique story. Oscar apparently arrived at the house in the engine of a visitor's car, and he wasn't even the visitor's cat! He was adopted by the staff that look after the house. He's now established himself as the resident 'House Cat' and visitors can often see him relaxing around the grounds. The little scamp also managed to get into one of the 360° images below...

A right Royal Oak...

We visited Boscobel House on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border and these are the 360° panoramic pictures we took:

View of Boscobel House

View of the barns, outbuildings and Oscar

View of the gardens of Boscobel House (1)

View of the gardens of Boscobel House (2)

On the way to the 'Royal Oak'

View of the 'Royal Oak'

All photographs were taken with the kind permission of English Heritage
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Nobody is quite sure when the house was built but estimates place the date at around 1632 when landowner John Gifford of Whiteladies converted a timber-framed farmhouse into a hunting lodge.

Gifford called the new hunting lodge 'Boscobel House' which is believed to come from the Italian phrase 'bosco bello' meaning 'in the midst of fair woods'. Back then, Boscobel House was surrounded by dense woodlands.

A key moment in history
The Gifford family were Catholics and, at that time, the Catholic religion was outlawed. The house itself served as a secret place for the shelter of Catholics in England and there were numerous priest-holes and hiding places dotted around the premises. This secret purpose of the house was to play a key part in the history of the country.

Charles II made an attempt to regain the throne from the parliamentary forces controlled by Oliver Cromwell. However, the final conflict of this Civil War at Worcester saw Charles defeated and forced to flee for his life.

Cromwell's patrols scoured the countryside for Charles II and he sought refuge at Boscobel House. He hid in a nearby oak tree from where he could see the patrols searching for him. The tree famously became known as 'The Royal Oak'.

After several hours, Charles moved to the house and hid in a priest-hole in the attic. Eventually, he managed to escape to safety in France. Charles II remained in exile there until 1660 when he was restored to the throne following the death of Cromwell two years earlier.

When he returned to England, King Charles revealed the story of his daring escape from Cromwell's forces and the important part played by in it by Boscobel House.

The Roaches

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