Passing along the road from Tamworth to Coleshill in 1540, John Leland observed 'About a mile after Fazeley I rode past Middleton Park and here Sir John Willoughby has a fine manor house, which he inherited from his father, Sir Henry Willoughby, an old Knight of the Sepulchre'. The Hall probably appeared as shown below.
There had already been a manor house there for 250 years, the first was built for Philip de Marmion in about 1285. Examples of the buildings from each phase of the Hall's existence can still be seen, creating a rare living museum of building styles over 750 years. But it is not just a building. It is place full of history. It is the closest to Birmingham that Queen Elizabeth I stayed. It contributed to the rise of Birmingham itself by being an early source of iron for the blacksmiths, on whose labour Birmingham was built and it has a truly unique place in the development of the natural sciences.
It has been badly used by its owners in the twentieth century, starting with the misfortune of being in the Tame Valley and becoming prey to the effects of the gravel extraction that dominates the stretch of the Tame before it enters Tamworth. It was allowed to decay, as seen in the picture 1977 below.
The freehold mow belongs to foreign property interests. They simply await the next opportunity for profit, without any concern for the heritage that the Hall represents.
The Hall is currently leased and cared for by a charitable trust operated by volunteers, who have lovingly restored the buildings and researched the many stories that belong to the Hall. All of these stories can be found by visiting the Hall, some from its publications, of which several available to download.