Monday, 25 August 2014

Wightwick Manor - a great place to visit

Wightwick Manor was what drew me to the Midlands last week. I wanted to see the splendour of Wightwick, pronounced Wittick, for myself.
The house and it's contents take your breath away, they are stunning. In 1887 Theodore Mander paint and varnish manufacturer bought part of the Wightwick Estate, he commissioned Edward Ould to build a manor house in the late medieval manor house style. Inside it was decorated in the William Morris style, using much of his fabric which can still be seen today; Sir Geoffrey Mander who inherited the house from his father, improved it a lot without changing the essential nature of the place, but did  buy many pre Raphaelite paintings now seen in a uniquely appropriate setting.
The outside of the house seen first, is lovely:
Look at the front lawn from the house:
 Below in the close up you can see the ribbed and decorated chimneys
And a couple more close ups:

It would take several visits to take in the treasures inside the house,  here are two tempters
 Above 'Summer', one of four stained glass panels of the seasons by Charles Kempe which illustrate Morris' 'Earthly paradise' and below a circular portrait of Jane Morris by Rosetti completed by Ford Maddox Brown
Outside the gardens are relaxing, I particularly liked the orchard, vegetable garden with its giant sunflower:
and the Carribean garden with its exotic polytunnel, a lovely area of the garden:

There's a cafe in the former stables and this fountain brought back from a former Wolverhampton market:
 It's hard to believe Wightwick Manor is just 3 miles outside Wolverhampton, it's a real gem. We stayed in the nearby Mount Hotel where Mander's cousin originally lived, they married sisters from Nova Scottia



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