The Washerwoman

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A visit to Whitewick, Bournville and a grave yard!

This week I have been away for a much overdue visit to this fantastic National Trust house in the Midlands.
For years I have known of the existence of  Whitewick Manor, and thanks to my son for getting us organised we managed to get there at long last.

The gardens are breathtaking, the small lake is the perfect feature, so serene with the reflection of the shrubs and flowers.

The house was built in 1887, then extended in 1893. Theodore Mander and his wife chose to furnish the house in the Arts and Crafts style, and it remains as a rare example of a house of that time that is virtually unchanged.

Despite its romantic facade, it was in fact one of the very first homes to have electric lighting. The plumbing would have been considered very modern and it also had "central heating".

Sadly, we were unable to take any photos of the inside of the house. The rooms were sumptuous with silk and paper wall coverings by William Morris. His textiles adorn window seats, chairs, beds and windows. My favourite rooms were the day and night nursery with its hand painted decorations, toys and nursery curtains and bed covers.

Every room had beautiful tiled fireplaces, many by William de Morgan, and there were superb paintings from some of the leading artists from that time and earlier.

Next stop was the Bournville "model village" which was built by the Cadbury Family in the late 19th to early 20th century for the factory workers. They were concerned with the health and fitness of their work force, so playing fields, bowling greens and swimming pools were also built.

I loved this row of shops (above) with its interesting roof-line and lack of colourful "modern" advertisements. It was just like walking along a high street in the 1930s.

Within the estate was this beautiful (and much older) building which the Cadbury family moved to the area in the late 19th century. The stunning Selly Manor - sadly closed that day, so we couldn't explore it.

The slightly austere exterior of the Meeting House, just off the Bournville Green (above) and the Rest House which was based on the design of the Yarn Market in Dunster, Somerset.

....and last, but not least a visit to a beautiful and extremely atmospheric graveyard in Harborne

Footpaths criss-cross the area and bluebells and wild garlic are in abundance! Hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into our enjoyable day off from work!


The Vintage Knitter said...

I haven't been to Bounville for years, but can remember that I was surprised at how tranquil and civilized it seemed.

louise said...

I've never got round to visiting Bournville, it looks lovely in your photos, although I've been to the Port Sunlight village near Chester which is fab.

jane and the happy crow said...

We went to Whitewick some years ago, a truly beautiful house. Would love to visit again. lots of love xx

The Fabric of my life said...

Beautiful Lizzie. Thanks for sharing x

BusyLizzie said...

I suspect Bournville was peaceful as it was the bank holiday! x

LandGirl1980 said...

I really must go to Bournville - looks right up my street :) Actually - I wish it WAS my street!

Hillside Garden said...

Thank you for the photographs and the great day out!


delia hornbook said...

It looks wonderful and very beautiful those buildings are gorgeous. dee x

BusyLizzie said...

Thank you for all your comments.. typed in haste as this lap top has crashed 3 times in the past 10 minutes.. grrrr.

Sal said...

Lovely post, Lizzie! I really enjoyed coming along with you on that trip! ;-) x

gillyflower said...

Looks like you had a great day out and a well deserved rest from work!
Whitewick Manor looks a great place to visit, and the interior sounds interesting and similar to Standen near East Grinstead in Sussex, also and Arts and Crafts house mainly decorated inside in William Morris wallpapers and fabrics, and with some beautiful William De Morgan antiques.
Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Thanks for sharing all the photos - I would love to visit Bournville too.

BusyLizzie said...

Thank you for more great & lovely comments. Thank you Gillyflower for the info on Standen. I have a feeling that my mother in law is going to visit there very soon.. it isn't far from where she lives.. so I think a visit is a must very soon! Lizzie