There has been a residence on this site for almost 1,000 years. Over the years the
Hall has changed, buildings have been added and demolished, the Estate which
was once many thousands of acres has shrunk and it has had a wide variety of
owners and tenants, and a few famous names have visited too.
Although mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the oldest building on
site is the Stone Building, built for Philip de Marmion of Tamworth
Castle, in 1285.
Elizabeth I visited the Hall in 1575, when she stayed for a week and
knighted the Hall’s owner Sir Francis Willoughby in the Great Hall
The Hall was home to the noted naturalists Francis Willoughby FRS
and John Ray who wrote and published, among others, the first
book on ornithology
Visit to Guys Cliffe House
On Thursday 12th July 2018 21 U3A members
visited Guys Cliffe House near Warwick. The group enjoyed an extremely
informative tour of the grounds, house and chapel by the
resident Curator Mr Adrian King
Guy’s Cliffe has been occupied since Saxon times
and derives its name from the legendary Guy of Warwick. Guy is supposed to have retired
to a hermitage on this site, this legend led to the founding of a chantry. The chantry
was established in 1423 as the Chapel of St Mary Magdelene and the rock-carved stables
and storehouses still remain. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII
the site passed into private hands. The current, ruined house dates from 1751 and
was started by Samuel Greatheed, a West India merchant and Member of Parliament for
Coventry 1747-1761. The estate also comprised a mill, stables, kitchen garden
and land as far as Blacklow Hill. The house was used as a hospital during World War I
and in the World War II became a school for evacuated children.
Guy’s Cliffe estate was
broken up and sold in 1947. In 1952 the mill became a pub and restaurant and was named
The Saxon Mill, the stables became a riding school, the kitchen garden became a nursery,
all of which still exist today. A toll house also stood by the road to the north of the
Saxon Mill, but this was demolished in the mid 20th century. The new owner of the house
intended to convert it into a hotel, but these plans came to nothing and the house
fell into disrepair. In 1955 the house was purchased by Aldwyn Porter and the chapel
leased to the Freemasons, establishing a connection with the Masons that remains
today. The roof had fallen in by 1966. In 1992 during the filming of The Adventures of
Sherlock Holmes a fire scene got out of control and seriously damaged the building,
leading to an insurance claim. English Heritage has given the building grade II
At the front of the ruined House
The Chapel and old Kitchen still intact.
The Chapel is now used by the Freemason as a Lodge
In the upper floor of the Chapel
Visit to the BBC Studios Birmingham
On Wednesday 31st December 20 U3A members visited the BBC Studios in the Mailbox,
Birmingham. They were given a guided tour by two very knowledgeable BBC guides
Emma and John.
Waiting for the Tour to start
The 5 previous images were taken with group being
shown the workings of one of the Sound Studios
The members inside the Archers Studio
Some of the sound effects
The indoor scenes of the Archers are recorded in this room
Any Outdoor scenes are recorded in this anechoic chamber.
All the walls are clad in sound absorbing foam panels.
The BBC Midlands Today studio
Alan Cross preparing to read the Weather Forecast
The TV Studio's Directors Gallery
At the end of the Tour some members of the Group
acted out a radio drama "The Dinner Party"
From left to right Graham Eden, Liz Cowley,
Lin White, Renu Morris and Susan Heard
Frances Critoph provided the sound effects and the
sound engineer was John Peat.
Once this recording has been edited we will receive a
copy and hopefully added to this site
Visit to Coventry and Solihull Waste Disposal Company
On Thursday 8th November 14 member of the U3A visited the CSWDC unit in Coventry
to find out what happens to non recyclable rubbish collected by Solihull
MB. The group were given a presentation by Mr Karl Starkey Managing
Director of the company and then a tour of the plant by two of his very
Every year the plant deals with 125,000 tonnes of rubbish collected from Coventry homes
every year, 60,000 from Solihull as well as 21,000 from Warwickshire. The rubbish
arrives at the plant, via the dustcart and is tipped in large bunker from here
the rubbish is grabbed by a giant claw machine and is lifted and dropped into
one of three chutes which lead to the incinerators. When the rubbish is
burnt it releases fumes that at 850 deg C heat water and the steam produced is
used drive turbines to generate 85,000 mwh of electricity. This is used
to power the plant and surplus sold to the National Grid. That is enough
electricity to power 21,000 homes.
The group also learnt how metals are
recovered and the ash used to cover land fill sites. As well as how the
flue gases are cleaned and harmful elements removed.
Coventry and Solihull Waste Disposal Centre deals with 240,000 tonnes of
rubbish every year. It reclaims 6,000 tonne of recyclable metal and creates
46,000 tonnes of bottom ash, which is currently used as landfill cover. The
plant runs 24 hours a day 365 days a year and employs 70 staff working a 5