Wightwick Manor and Gardens

Wightwick Manor and Gardens

In 1937 Geoffrey Mander MP did something remarkable - he persuaded the National Trust to accept a house that was just 50 years old.

The local paint manufacturer and Liberal MP had been left the timber-framed house by his father Theodore. Taking inspiration from a lecture on 'the House Beautiful' by Oscar Wilde, Theodore and his wife Flora had decorated its interiors with the designs of William Morris and his Arts and Crafts contemporaries.

This house of the Aesthetic Movement was, by 1937, a relic of an out of fashion era. Yet, so complete was the design that it was worthy of preservation. Having given the house to the Trust, Geoffrey and his second wife Rosalie became its live-in curators, opening the house to the public and adding to its contents. In particular they added a remarkable collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Rossetti, Burne-Jones and their followers.

So take a step back in time and visit the ever-changing family home that’s also the world’s most unlikely art gallery.