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The Big MEND project at Wightwick Manor

A view looking up to the sky, underneath one of the windows of the Manor at Wightwick.
The Big MEND project at Wightwick Manor | © National Trust/Rachael Parry

A three-year conservation project to repair and restore the Grade I listed Wightwick Manor, ensuring its preservation for future generations to enjoy. Find out more about The Big MEND project.

Wightwick Manor was built and furnished according to the Arts & Crafts ideals; it dates from 1887-8, with a later extension in 1893. It is recognised as an important example of the architecture and design of the later 19th century, containing much work by the leading designers of the day and is one of only a few such houses.

How the project started

Wightwick Manor's significance comes from its interior equally as its exterior. The iconic & ornate timber frame however is not structural, but instead superficial and allowing for high decorative features. The facades also contain rich decorative bay windows, chimneys, stained glass, bargeboards and stonework.

After more than 125 years, the frame is showing signs of deterioration due to age and weathering and the timber is losing its integrity. This is resulting in movement of the frame, the plaster infill panels becoming loose, oak pegs falling out and window frames requiring repair.

Our project aims

By the end of 2026, The Big MEND project aims to:

  • Repair the timber framework
  • Remove moss and plant growth
  • Reinstate lead flashing
  • Repair sills and frames to oak windows
  • Repairs & repointing to chimneys and rain water goods
  • Repair Porch to Upper Hall
  • Stripping & relaying of roof slopes
  • Repair weathervane & regild compass letters

This work will be phased over three years, between 2023/24 to 2025/26.

Wightwick Manor's roof, window and chimney
The east side of Wightwick Manor | © National Trust / Lindsey Bucknor


We’re delighted to have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England, on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to allow this extensive repair work to get underway.

This Museum Estate & Development (MEND) Fund is for a total of £658,260, which will go towards the repairs to the exteriors at Wightwick, and also inspires the project’s name, ‘The Big MEND’.

The National Trust is contributing £139,320, taking the total project cost to just under £800,000.

A view of the intricate oak and plaster framework of Wightwick Manor, with a decorated rainwater pipe on the right has side. Some of the plaster work is damaged or missing and awaiting repair.
Damaged plaster on the timber frame. | © National Trust/Lindsey Bucknor

Adapting to climate change

The cast iron gutters and downpipes on the 1887 parts of the house require repair and need modifying from their smaller form (as was per the fashion of the late 19th century) to larger and deeper ones, in order to enlarge their capacity to cope with increased rainfall and volume of water caused by climate change.

Other significant projects

Over the next few years, you will also see more repairs and improvement works on other aspects of Wightwick Manor and Garden's built heritage. These include:

  • Repairs and redecoration to the historic Peach House in the Kitchen Garden
  • Removal, repair and reinstatement of the War Memorials
  • Structural repairs to the Mathematical Bridge and reopening of the Bridge Garden
  • Continuation of our accessible paths project after the successful installation of the Formal Rose Garden link path in 2023

How will the Big MEND project affect your visit?

The site is open as normal, including the Manor. Some areas of the garden will be closed until the end of July 2023 whilst the scaffolding is being constructed around the Manor. Once the work starts, these areas will be re-opened. Parts of the building will be scaffolded to allow each elevation to be addressed. However, the scaffold will be removed in the autumn for 5 months until April/May 2024, and again the following year. There will be signs onsite to inform visitors of any changes to regular routes, and there will be information boards providing further detail of what's happening.

If you have any questions about the work during your visit, team members will be on hand to answer. Alternatively, you can email the office on

The Big MEND project timeline

September 2023

Upcoming work

In September a lead worker will be working on the gutters, gulleys and hoppers. These have suffered damage over the years and many can no longer cope with the increased rainfall we are receiving.

We will also be removing tiles to two roofs over the west wing and re-laying with new tiles, as the existing are no longer fit for purpose. We have been working closely with an Ecologist to ensure no bats are harmed during this work.

Damaged rainwater downpipes awaiting repair during the MEND project at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands
Downpipes awaiting repair | © National Trust/Lindsey Bucknor

Our partners


Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. Supporting the arts sector with funding from Government and the National Lottery.

Visit website 

A view of Wightwick Manor's East wing from the Tennis Lawn. The tree on the lawn is showing its autumnlal colours of reds and oranges.

Wightwick Manor and Gardens 

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Fully open today
The Malthouse Gallery at Wightwick Manor and Gardens, West Midlands

The De Morgan Gallery at Wightwick 

Visit the De Morgan Gallery, a partnership with the De Morgan Foundation. ‘Look Beneath the Lustre’ looks at how Evelyn and William De Morgan were inspired to create art.

Trees in the garden in October at Wightwick Manor and Gardens, West Midlands.

The garden at Wightwick 

The garden at Wightwick is the perfect place for a walk after enjoying the delights of the house. Designed by Thomas Mawson, today it has something to see no matter what the season.