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The legacy of a family's passion for Victorian art and design

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.

Wightwick Manor - haven of a romantic industrialist.

Flora by Evelyn De Morgan in the Great Parlour © John Wood

Flora by Evelyn De Morgan in the Great Parlour

Floralia Festival

Inspired by our guest painting, Evelyn De Morgan's Flora the Roman goddess of spring this May bank holiday weekend (1-4 May) we'll be holding a festival of flowers. Throughout the ground floor of the house will be flower arrangements inspired by the styles of different periods of flower arranging. Open as part of house ticket and times.

Two legs good, four legs better

 

Dogs - persuade your humans to walk you around our gardens. Ensure that they are trained to clean up after you and know that with other dogs and children around you need to stay on you lead.

 

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