Behind closed doors at Sunnycroft

Sunnycroft in the winter sun

The garden of Sunnycroft will be open for pre-booked visits, along with our car park, and toilets on selected days from Sunday 28 March. To ensure the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities, you’ll need to book your visit in advance. Find out more about how we’ve been taking care of Sunnycroft over the last year while it’s been closed.

While Sunnycroft was closed a small team continued to carry out the essential care and conservation of its interior, collection, buildings, and garden.  

Much needed repair work to the original 1899 bay window in the Drawing Room was carried out, and a full inventory check of the several thousand collection objects from the unusual to the beautiful, was completed. 

The collection at Sunnycroft includes 20th Century items that we still recognise and use today.
Various 20th Century domestic items from the collection at Sunnycroft.
The collection at Sunnycroft includes 20th Century items that we still recognise and use today.

Despite being closed from March 2020, there were still a number of potential risks to the collection that needed to be managed, including monitoring pests, damage from dust and any environmental impacts – for example fluctuations in temperature and humidity that could affect collection items. 

Sunnycroft was bequeathed, with its contents to the National Trust in 1997. It’s collection is a time capsule of domestic life in the 20th Century.
Six buttons in the collection at Sunnycroft.
Sunnycroft was bequeathed, with its contents to the National Trust in 1997. It’s collection is a time capsule of domestic life in the 20th Century.

During 2020 we were able to carry out some essential conservation work to Sunnycroft’s conservatory, while we continued to plan for its conservation and restoration. The conservatory is a glasshouse designed and built by R. Halliday & Co. in 1899. It is grade II listed and is embellished with stained glass, decorative finials and ironwork. We believe only two examples of Halliday glasshouses remain, which makes this one even more special.

Sunnycroft Halilday

Conserving Sunnycroft's conservatory

One of only two remaining examples of its type, find out why this 120 year old conservatory is so special, and why vital restoration work is needed.

Outside at Sunnycroft

In recent years there has been an increased amount of surface flooding to the grounds after heavy rainfall. In June and August 2020 heavy rainfall led to surface flooding again, the original clay drainage pipes being no longer able to cope with draining away the amount of surface water.

The drainage system was replaced in October 2020 to combat this and protect the property. being carefully installed to take into account the roots of the towering Wellingtonia trees planted in 1899 by Mary Jayne Slaney. During the work, a disused Victorian culvert was discovered near to the pigsty.

The discovery of a Victorian culvert close to the pigsty in 2020.
The discovery of a Victorian culvert close to the pigsty in 2020.
The discovery of a Victorian culvert close to the pigsty in 2020.

Testing out reopening in 2020

With careful planning and preparation in December 2020, working alongside the team from Attingham Park we were able test out reopening for limited visitor numbers for events at Sunnycroft with ‘Visits to Father Christmas’.

Sunnycroft decorated for Visits to Father Christmas, December 2020.
The hallway at Sunnycroft with Christmas decorations and tree in December 2020.
Sunnycroft decorated for Visits to Father Christmas, December 2020.

Explore the collection at Sunnycroft from home

You can explore the collection at Sunnycroft from wherever you are on the National Trust Collections website. Follow the link below to explore the collection at Sunnycroft.