Himley Hall, situated between Kingswinford and Wombourne, started life in the 18th century when a medieval manor house on the site belonging to the Earl of Dudley was demolished to make way for a great Palladian mansion. The 180 acres of grounds were designed by Capability Brown to include a great lake fed by a series of waterfalls from a higher chain of smaller pools.
Himley Hall was a moated manor house, which stood next to the medieval church and village. For over four centuries it served as a home to the Lords of Dudley and their knights. Occupants during this period included Dud Dudley, whose seventeenth century experiments in smelting iron ore with coal were carried out nearby. In 1645, King Charles I encamped in the grounds on his way to defeat at the Battle of Naseby during the English Civil War.
During the seventeenth century the Ward family inherited the title Lords of Dudley through the marriage of Humble Ward to the heiress to the Dudley estates, Frances Sutton, in 1628. Humble Ward was the son of the jeweller and goldsmith to the court of King Charles I. Following damage to Dudley Castle during the Civil War, Himley Hall became the principal family home.
In 1740, John Ward became the 6th Lord Ward and inherited the Himley Estates. At the same time he was elected as an MP and his new high status position called for a more impressive home. The old manor house was demolished and a replacement built in the classical Palladian style. On its completion it was immediately extended and additional wings were added.