Boscobel House

Boscobel House

Boscobel House (gbmapping|SJ837082), on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border, near Wolverhampton and Albrighton, England, was built around 1632, when landowner John Gifford of White Ladies Priory converted a timber-framed farmhouse into a hunting lodg. Boscobel House became one of the most evocative sites in the English historical imagination. It was at this property that Charles II famously hid in a tree to escape discovery by Parliamentary soldiers after the Battle of Worcester. See also the article on Escape of Charles II. It is a Grade II* listed building and has several other listed features. It is under the care of English Heritage.


Gifford called the new hunting lodge Boscobel House which is believed to come from the Italian phrase "bosco bella" meaning "in the midst of fair woods". In 1632, Boscobel House was surrounded by dense woodlands.

The Royal Oak

The Gifford family were Catholics and, at that time, the Catholic religion was viewed with great suspicion. The house itself served as a secret place for the shelter of Catholic priests with 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.

Near the end of the English Civil War, after the Battle of Worcester, Charles II fled for his life, seeking 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.

External links

* [ BBC on Boscobel House]
* [ English Heritage entry: Boscobel House]
* [ Roland Film's Documentary on the Restoration of Boscobel House]
* [ Postcard images from a personal site]
*IoE|416527|Boscobel House - Grade II*

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