All buildings in the hamlet of Temple Balsall, including our Lady Katherine Housing Care home, have been in the same ownership since 1674 with each contributing to the living and breathing community life of which you would be part.
The hamlet has long been an area of great interest for its natural flora and fauna. Edith Holden, the early 20th century artist and diarist, mentions visiting it in her Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.
One of the many regular visitors to our care home told us that, when she takes the path within the Court of Lady Katherine Leveson and stands to look at the surrounding listed buildings and grounds, she knows she has walked back into history. All the buildings within the Temple Balsall hamlet can be accessed without the need to cross a main road.
The Court of Lady Katherine Leveson, which houses our residents’ modernised apartments have been in the same location since the late 17th century and were rebuilt in the 18th century to become the elegant buildings they now are, surrounding a lawned garden – a meeting place for all.
From the gates of the Court and turning right you will be on the pathway called the Breadwalk and treading in the footsteps of the first 17th century lady residents who walked along it to collect their daily bread.
After a short walk you will reach the imposing Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, formerly the 14th century monastic chapel for the Knights Hospitaller and remodelled in the 19th century by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.
Reverend Debbie Collins was installed as the vicar of the Parish in July 2023 and she is also the Master of the Foundation. She gives communion every Thursday morning in our care home to those who would like to receive it after holding a weekly service for children from the school to which all are invited.
The church remains as an important religious and social hub for the community and all are invited to the weekly Sunday services, the Easter celebrations, carol concerts at Christmas and services for those who have lost children.
But, you don’t have to be a church goer to join us in our care home – we welcome everyone irrespective of race, religion or creed.
Towards the fields at the edge of the hamlet sits the Old Hall dating from the 13th century, one of a small number of mediaeval halls which survive in the area.
We offer the Old Hall as a venue for gatherings, such as weddings, birthdays, christenings or all your other family get-togethers. You can join us for afternoon teas served here on the first Sunday every month from Easter to the end of September.
In the Old Hall, you will find glass cabinets with exhibits collected from an archaeological dig from under the Old Hall grounds in 1981 – a mini museum.
Walking past the Old Hall you will reach open countryside. Retrace your steps and walk across the path from the Breadwalk and alongside Temple House and you will reach a wooden bridge over a pond which was once used to power the Temple Balsall mill. The pond is home to ducks and birds and is a popular place to stand and ponder.
Back to the gates of the Court and turning left along the Breadwalk you will hear the laughter of children in play as you reach the Lady Katherine Leveson Church of England primary school established in the late 17th century originally for ‘poor boys’ and now teaching up to 240 girls and boys.