Saturday, June 01, 2013

A Rainy Day Out

We had a lovely, if slightly wet, day away from home on Thursday.  Firstly we visited the Air Museum at Cosford which we do once or twice a year.  We noticed lots of changes since our last visit.  It was very busy with visitors and there was also lots of work going on in preparation for next weekend's Air Show.


After a good look around we moved on just a little further down the road towards Wolverhampton to a National Trust property we last visited nearly 20 years ago.  I loved it then and I loved it again yesterday.   No photographs were allowed inside but I managed to take lots of photos of the exterior and of the gardens despite two heavy downpours of rain which we seemed to miss whilst we were in the cafe and then on our tour around the house. 

Wightwick Manor which is only a few miles from Cosford and near Tettenhall was the home of  Samuel Theodore and Flora Mander who, in the late 19th century, designed the building to look like a mediaeval house complete with baronial hall. They were greatly influenced by the ideas of both the Aesthetic Movement and the Arts and Crafts Movement in style and the art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  Much of the furniture, soft fabrics and wall decorations are from William Morris's company.  The guided tour was just of the ground floor and then the groups were free to wander around upstairs and in the kitchens.  I found the tour very interesting and informative but I do also like to have a good wander around under my own steam as well.

Samuel Theodore Mander was a rich industrialist and joint owner with his brother of the Mander Brothers' paint and varnish company of Wolverhampton.

In between lunch in the cafe and our timed visit to the house we wandered around the gardens.

I was thrilled to see that the Wisteria growing over the front of the house was in flower


and also with the lilac growing in the courtyard 

On the walk down through the orchard  to the ponds there were swathes of bluebells, campion and cow parsley

The path around the ponds was a mass of rhododendrons and azaleas on either side.

The reflections in the water were stunning and we spent ages just staring.  Isn't it the most wonderful time of year right now?

Everything we saw, both inside and out, was a real treat for all the senses.

In 1937 the house, at just 50 years old and still full of the works of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, was given to the National Trust  by Sir Geoffrey Mander son of Theodore and Flora Mander before it came under the influence of the new Art-Deco styles and in so doing preserved it as we see it today.

24 comments:

  1. I would like to go and visit that house.

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    1. It is wonderful especially if you like William Morris designs:)

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  2. I loved our visit to Wightwick Manor last year but it was in the summer.I would love to see it with the azaleas and wisteria.

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    1. The wisteria on the font of the hall was so pretty and the bright yellow azaleas smelt wonderful:)

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  3. I really enjoyed this post as these are both places that Dave used to live near to so places we visited a few times. Wightwick is a really interesting place.

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    1. It is fascinating isn't it? There's so much to see in there:)

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  4. Wightwick Manor is one of my favourite places. It's a gem.

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    1. Isn't it? I can't understand why we hadn't been back again sooner:)

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  5. Wightwick Manor looks an interesting place to visit. Because the style of the house has been influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement etc, it sounds as though there is a lot of fascinating detail there. The gardens also look beautiful and I love the Wisteria.

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    1. I love this time of year when the wisteria and lilac are in flower. Inside is absolutely full of things of the Arts and Crafts movement, Morris and Co and the Kelscott Press. It's hard to know where to look first:)

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  6. The Arts and Crafts movement is so interesting and influential. This house and gardens must be well worth a visit especially at this time of the year. The reflections in the water are beautiful. (We had good weather at Matlock on Thursday - much better than forecast and enjoyed a day at Cromford Mills). Glad you had some time outside as well as indoors so that you could wander around.

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    1. It is a fascinating place especially with its Pre-Raphaelite paintings and connections. So glad you got to Cromford at last:)

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  7. I love Wightwick Manor and remember wandering through the orchard last Autumn and marvelling at the wonderful variety of apples (Mr K did pick one up off the floor and 'sample' it!)The inside is so rich and colourful - definitely worth visiting again! Jane x

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    1. It is such a nice drive from here too and quite easy to find so we must go back again in the not to distant future:)

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  8. What a beautiful set of photos. Wightwick Manor looks so interesting to visit and the gardens look lovely :)

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    1. The gardens were lovely and inside the house very interesting too:)

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  9. It looks like a great day out. I would have loved to wander around the gardens and see the flowers in bloom. x

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    1. It was lovely just wandering around even though we got a little wet - I just enjoyed being somewhere different for a while:)

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  10. That looks a really packed and fabulous day out - hubby would have liked that too. Hope the sun came out for you this week Rosie xxxxx

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    1. Something for everyone in that day out! The air museum is fab and free and very close to David Austin roses. Hope you had a lovely sunny weekend too:)

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  11. Beautiful, especially those reflections in the water. Shame they don't allow photos inside the house, but I've been to other NT properties that are the same.

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    1. Some NT properties allow you to take photos now but I think the house contents still belong to the family not the NT so no photography is allowed:)

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  12. I know someone who would enjoy visiting the aircraft display. The house looks great even in the rain. Mx

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    1. The museum is well worth a visit:)

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