Honouring the Wade vision

A niche in Meridian at Snowshill Manor, Gloucestershire, with oak panelling, and quill pens and a candle on a table

The National Trust looks after lots of special places and objects, but very rarely can we draw on such a wealth of ideas, and well thought through vision, as we can with Charles Wade and the collection at Snowshill Manor. Through his writing and talking to his friends, we know exactly what Wade intended the Manor to look like for future generations. There are no bright lights and labels here - part of the magic lies in happening across unlikely treasures in dark corners, finding glinting clocks next to Japanese masks next to ancient bagpipes.

Low lights
Wade’s vision was to create a mysterious atmosphere and he preferred the effect of subdued lighting. He was inspired by the flickering lights in churches he visited in his youth. He wanted people to peer into corners and catch 'gold and glints on polished metal'.
During his time, there was no electricity installed for this reason, and to this day we only use minimal lighting, to bring to life Wade’s vision and keep his memory alive.

" Compare the blatant blaze of the brilliantly lit shop window of the silversmith with the scene in an ancient continental church with candle-lit golden shrines in a haze of incense."
- Charles Wade

No labels to be seen
Charles Wade stated, ‘I set out to find furnishings that would make an attractive series of rooms pictorially, not to form a museum’. With 22,000 objects in the collection, it would be impossible to label everything and it would create a sea of labels that would detract from the way Wade intended the rooms to be viewed.

A wealth of knowledge
Our room guides are here to help with answers to questions and wind up torches, giving you pointers and a personal insight into the collection. Please don’t hesitate to ask them about the treasures on display.