We visited the National Trust property of Wightwick Manor when the restrictions were partially lifted. Pre-booking was required, numbers were limited, and you had to wear a face mask. This suited us very well because it meant we were able to tour the rooms with plenty of space to look at things properly. The top floor remained closed. We were given an introduction by the guide, which was very interesting. It was all about the family who lived in the house and the magnificent collection of artwork displayed. My favourite painting was Jane Hughes (Jeanie) by the artist George F Watts. This has been cleaned and restored since our last visit.
Despite the rain we walked around the grounds to enjoy the sight of the trees, shrubs and flowers beautifully coloured with autumn tints. In the orchards there are 52 varieties of apples together with many other fruits. Truly the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”….
The day we visited the Stable Tearoom was open and visitors could sit at a table within a stall exclusively for their family group. The food and drink was up to the usual high standard. The shop was also open and my daughter bought me a set of William Morris tablemats. I bought some cards and optimistically a 2021 diary. (The latter still has the empty pages – on every date nothing has happened!) It’s a pity that the National Trust is doing away with its physical shops. I enjoy buying souvenirs wherever we go,
In the Malthouse Gallery is a new exhibition on display for the first time featuring a collection of Evelyn and William De Morgan. This is so appropriate for Wightwick Manor because the Mander family were influenced by the Aesthetic Movement.
What is special about the house is the fact that you can imagine a famiy actually living there. Amongst the intricate artwork there are cosy corners, where no doubt many a deep conversation took place by this politically active Mander family. Well worth a visit.