It’s no secret that children love absolutely nothing more than messing about in treehouses – and it would seem that this rule applies not just to commoners but to the Royal Family as well… apparently, Queen Victoria’s old treehouse is about to reopen to the public, thought to be the oldest treehouse in the entire world.
The Tree House can be dated all the way back to 1692 at least, perched partway up a lime tree on the Pitchford Estate, a property made up of 1,000 acres on the outskirts of Shropshire Hill Country.
The property has been undergoing a massive renovation, a task undertaken by current owners James Nason and Rowena Colthurst, who have dedicated their time to bringing Pitchford Hall back from the brink after it was left to rot and decay for 25 years.
Speaking to the Shropshire Star last year, Mr Nason said: “We want this to be part of the community. We felt that for many years people had forgotten about Pitchford. Everyone who lives in the village would see the hall as they drove by but to outsiders it was forgotten. We want to have the support of Shropshire and beyond to really get this place restored. We will be preserving the English heritage.”
Although you can’t book a stay in The Tree House itself, you can still admire it from afar if you book a stay on the estate in the Tree House Barn. As well as the glorious views, you’ll have two ensuite bathrooms, an open plan kitchen and oak panelled sitting room, plenty of room for cars, all the mod-cons like satellite TV and a DVD player, and a garden with a patio and lawn.
The Tree House, meanwhile, was built in the same style as Pitchford Hall, which you’re sure to notice for yourself once you see it in the flesh. There’s a partially glazed door that leads you up into the house, revealing a carved and moulded cornice ceiling, Gothic windows on all sides and a beautiful stripped oak floor.
And it’s not just The Tree House that’s of interest if you do decide to go on holiday in this lovely part of England. There’s also a subterranean tunnel, which is actually an ancient conduit leading to a large settling room, about 12ft high with big rough stone seats. And then there are the Pitchford Ghosts – several sightings have been made of different spectres, such as women walking up the staircases, into the kitchens and out of the nursery bathroom.
Pitchford Hall itself is one of the finest examples of Elizabethan half-timbered houses and it’s enjoyed something of an illustrious history. It’s even thought that Prince Rupert was hidden in a Priest’s Hole in the house some time after the Dissolution of the Monasteries to escape from the Parliamentarians. Other famous visitors include Queen Victoria (as a Princess back then), George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother).