History

Whitacre Hall has a very long and varied history. We can date life back on the farm to as early as 200BC.

The picture you see above is of a Stone-age Ceremonial Mace Head which dates back to 200BC. It was found on the farm by Carl when he was ploughing the Flat Meadow field right next to our pool.

This shows that life at Whitacre Hall can be traced back to as early as this time. We know that there was a large Stone-age Settlement at Hurley just down the road from the farm.

The farm was very different back then, it would have been covered in trees and no large fields would be seen.

In 1135 Robert Marmion was a Knight of Tamworth Castle. He was a descendant of the Marmion family who were the Lords of Tamworth Castle. He obtained the Whitacre Hall Estate for a “One Knights Penny” which means he was given the land for good service to the Lords of Tamworth Castle. He lived at Whitacre Hall until 1166. The land remained in his family until around 1387.

During Robert’s time there were some dwellings on the land, but most importantly the medieval moat was built. Originally it was built for defences, but it was later used as a pound for cattle which were brought inside the moat area at night for safe keeping.

During 1500 to 1592 the Washington family owned the Whitacre Hall Estate. One of the most interesting family members who owned the estate was Laurence Washington who is a direct ancestor of George Washington who was the first President of the United States of America.

In 1589 Laurence built the house “Whitacre Hall” within the moated area.

1681-1773~ In 1681 the estate was given to Humphrey Jennens who owned the iron smelting furnaces at Furnace End, as short distance away from Whitacre Hall. He passed the estate to Charles Jennens who then passed it onto his son Charles Jennens. The Jennens family also resided at Gopsall Hall in Leicestershire.

Charles Jennens was a close friend of Georg Friedrich Handel, the music composer. In the early 1730’s Charles, a great music lover helped fund Handel’s compositions. Handel visited Charles on many occasions at both of his residences and was know well in Nether Whitacre and the surrounding areas. The Earl of Aylesford at Packington Hall, cousin of Charles obtained an organ for Handel to play on their estate when he visited Charles at Whitacre Hall.

Charles compiled the scriptural text for “Messiah” for Handel from the King James Bible and from versions of Psalms included in the book of prayer. It is believed he wrote Messiah in 1741 during his visits to Charles at both Whitacre Hall and Gopsall Hall.

In 1959 Edward Pickworth purchased Whitacre Hall for the newly married Joan and Julian Pickworth. They had three children, Jane, Carrol and Carl.

30+ years ago, Carl took over the running of the farm and married Teresa. They have two children, Alex and Jake who will one day take over the running of the farm.