I’ve wanted to visit Wightwick for a while. My love of Pre-Raphaelite art placed the Mander’s collection high up my list, and my fondness for all things Victorian couldn’t hurt matters either. Still, it was by accident that we ended up here last Tuesday, entirely because Boscobel House, our initial destination, only opens twice a week!
This mock Tudor house was not designed to fool anyone, more in homage to the grandness of such moated manors. The interiors stand as a shrine to William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement, employing silk and paper wall-coverings in typical Morris style, artwork by Rossetti and Burne-Jones, glass by Charles Kempe and ceramics by William de Morgan.
The house usually opens to exhibit the Pre-Raphaelite collection, but is currently running a social history tour called Upstairs Downstairs, opening previously closed areas of the house including the attics (the maids’ and cook’s quarters) and the roof.
The exteriors are as wonderful as the house’s interiors: the house sits in seven hectares of attractive Arts and Crafts gardens, designed by Thomas Mawson, which are Grade II listed in their own right.
We will, naturally have to return at a later date for the regular tour – such a shame!