Monday, 5 December 2016

Useful and beautiful

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments on my last blog post, I thought I would sneak a post on and no-one would notice for six months or so, how wrong, and it was such a lovely surprise to see comments appear so quickly too, you lot are so on the ball!!

On 2nd December the OH and I decided on a trip out to Wightwick Manor, the newer than it looks National Trust managed home of the Mander family, Wolverhampton paint manufacturers.

We have visited several times before, the house is particularly appealing as it is so very liveable, the rooms are big but not too grand, and there are many quirks and interesting corners.

As per usual, I asked at the door about photography, as previously photos have been banned at Wightwick.  To my surprise the lady on the door said no flash but snap what you like, I nearly fell over!

So, sit down and enjoy the photos. Obviously, because of the plethora of wallpaper, paintings and textiles in general, the rooms are kept quite dark, and as December is generally pretty gloomy here, so you may need to squint a bit here and there.

Here's a few outside shots

There is so much to take in, there are even quotations carved into the woodwork above the windows

Inside, the hallway has a large inglenook raised area with a large window, just perfect for thawing out

The house is now dressed for Christmas and there was a tree in the other part of the hallway

The house is very much a whimsical rabbit warren of rooms and nooks, mostly decorated in off the peg William Morris (I overheard a conversation and one of the guides said William Morris was not commissioned to do anything specific for the house, it was all bought from his catalogues)

The house had electricity from the start, and some light bulbs are amongst the oldest still in existance.  Pre Raphaelite art hangs on the silk William Morris wallpaper.  Beautiful Arts and crafts stained glass adorns windows, and I just love the loo roll!

 Silk wallpaper, fraying

 Beautiful window seat in Lady Mander's drawing room

The main dining room

 The great hall

The OH (far right), listening intently to a talk in the billiard room

 In the staff bathroom at the top of the tower (wearing: new boots from Original Factory Shop £17.60, blue bag, charity shop £1, Aldi skinny jeans £7.99 and John Partridge jacket £10 ebay)

 Senior female staff bedroom in the tower (bloomin' freezing!)

Block of tea. Yep, compressed tea in a block, could be used as currency in the far east

 The OH, in the staff dining room

One of the two kitchens

Fireplace in the nursery, complete with very old but working electric fire

 Some little bits that caught my eye, amazingly narrow Edwardian boots, farmyard frieze in the nursery, detail of glass panel in the hallway, William Morris fabric on the bed in the nursery

Well, hope you enjoy looking at the photos as we thoroughly enjoyed our Winter visit to Wightwick.  

 I've managed to run up a couple of welly boot bags this evening, out of an old animal feed sack and the strap off an old handbag 

I really didn't want to pay almost a tenner each for proper ones which seemed too small for the OH's welly boots, so made these.  

Right, time for me to catch up with all your blogs, thank you again for the comments

See you soon!


  1. So good to see you back. Enjoying getting my fix of English country houses, Wightwick is amazing. Nothing like this over here!

    1. Hi Jane, hope you are well. Thanks for the nice comment, will keep the country houses coming!

  2. Thank you for the tour, this is a fascinating property, so full of brilliant details.The farmyard frieze in the nursery is so sweet but my favourite is that glorious William Morris silk wallpaper.

    1. It is a stunning house, Jill, full of quirks and beautiful things!

  3. I love Wightwick, it's only down the road from us. My favourite thing is that women were the dominant party when the house was designed, from the secret passageway the ladies of the house could hide in if an unwanted visitor arrived uninvited to the special water tank which collected and filtered rainwater guaranteeing the women's hair remained super soft and shiny.
    I'm surprised you were allowed to take photos. Apparently the copyright on many of William Morris's designs have expired and photos are forbidden in case they're copied and stolen. One of my friends works there - she's an ex-headmistress and a bit scary, she'd have a fit if she finds out! xxx

    1. Ahh, yes, the passageway, love that bit! The copyright might explain why there wasn't as much Morris on display as I thought they had, obviously removed those bits that could be copied! You'll have to visit, they are open over Christmas ;)

  4. Oh goody! I love reading about your little trips, so I was in for a treat! I'd never heard of Wightwick Manor, but what an amazing place it is, inside and out. I love all the quirky details, which make it my kind of place, and I would have gone crazy with my camera too. I too always ask about photography, and have noticed that lately more and more properties allow it, as long as you don't use a flash. One lady told me that with all the smartphones it's becoming almost impossible to control, which is why they no longer forbid it. xxx

    1. Thank you Ann, sometimes I feel I am talking to myself so I'm glad you enjoy the ramblings of a cheapskate!

  5. WM is down the road from me, I went once on a day when the house was shut so could only quickly look round the gardens. I may try and go before Christmas so I can see the house decorated.

    1. Hi Miss PB, ooh hope you get to go before Christmas, it looks so festive!

  6. What a lovely house - I think I could live there! Made me chuckle to think of a William Morris catalogue - eat your heart out, Freemans! xx

    1. Hi Curtise, nice to see you back in blogland. Haha, yes, wonder if they got free returns too!


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