Wightwick Manor is a Victorian timber-framed manor house built in 1887 near Wolverhampton, but in 1937 Geoffrey Mander, a local paint manufacturer and liberal MP, did something remarkable – he persuaded the National Trust to accept a house that was just 50 years old.
The house was completed in two phases, one in 1887 and then the manor house was extended further in 1893. With 17 acres of woodland and gardens, it is not one of the most expansive of National Trust locations, but it boasts beautifully manicured gardens.
Wightwick Manor was built by architect Edward Ould, for Samuel Theodore Mander over the years 1887-88. It is designed to mock the Tudor ‘Old English Style’, the elaborate timber-framed exterior has deliberate asymmetrical grouping with features of tall chimney stacks, oriel windows and ranks of carved quatrefoils. Even though the house is vast with dark rooms and closed curtains to protect the interior, it has a homely and friendly feel to it.
The house has many timber beams and barley-twist chimneys, with a lot of William Morris furnishings. Wightwick is an idyllic time capsule of Victorian nostalgia and medieval England. The work of William Morris’ can be seen throughout Wightwick Manor including wall coverings, curtains and upholstery.
The guest wing is one of the larger areas of the house, comprised of the Great Parlour, a new Billiard Room, Dining Room, Kitchens and guest bedrooms. The guide in the Billiard room was insightful, telling us the tales of how the billiard room and table were used during the war by the RAF. They used the billiard table to read maps, whilst it was covered over with timber made by a local firm.
Wightwick Manor is one of the most beautiful places in the spring, with beautiful flowers growing throughout the grounds as well as a kitchen garden that boasts plentiful fruit and veg. We had a wonderful day out exploring the gardens and grounds, we had amazing weather for it too!
As the first of our National Trust adventures in 2022, this was a great start, I loved hearing about the history of Wightwick. Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading about this wonderful manor house in the midlands, let me know what you think in the comments.