Wightwick Manor (pronounced 'Wittick') is a timber-framed Victorian manor house on Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton in Staffordshire. It is one of only a few surviving examples of a house built and furnished under the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement. It stands as a legacy of a family's passion for Victorian art and design.
Wightwick was built by Theodore Mander, of the Mander family, who were successful 19th-century industrialists in the area, and his wife Flora, daughter of Henry Nicholas Paint, Member of Parliament in Canada. It was designed by Edward Ould of Liverpool in two phases; the first was completed in 1887 and the house was extended with the Great Parlour wing in 1893.
Taking inspiration from a lecture on 'the House Beautiful' by Oscar Wilde, Theodore and his wife Flora had decorated its interiors with the designs of William Morris and his Arts and Crafts contemporaries.
This family house portrays life during the Victorian era and is a notable example of the influence of William Morris, with original Morris wallpapers and fabrics, De Morgan tiles, Kempe glass, and Pre-Raphaelite works of art. The house has splendid Victorian gardens and the outbuildings house stables, a handmade pottery shop, studio workshop and an antiquarian bookshop.
The house was presented to the National Trust by Sir Geoffrey Mander under the Country Houses Scheme in 1937. Descendants of the family retain rooms in the manor.
The manor received Grade I listed status on July 29, 1950.
Theodore Mander's son, Sir Geoffrey Mander was a local paint manufacturer and Liberal Member of Parliament. After he had inherited the house, he determined to give thwe house to the National Trust: this was quite remarkable frthe time as the house was not one of the ancient mansions which were Trust's staple but a house then just 50 years old. Somehow he persuaded the Trust to accept it.
This house of the Aesthetic Movement was, by 1937, a relic of an out of fashion era. Yet, so complete was the design that it was worthy of preservation. Having given the house to the Trust, Sir Geoffrey and his second wife Rosalie became its live-in curators, opening the house to the public and adding to its contents. In particular they added a remarkable collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Rossetti, Burne-Jones and their followers.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Wightwick Manor)
- Wightwick Manor information at the National Trust
- “Sir Geoffrey Mander: the last of the Midland Radicals” by Nicholas Mander
- “Wightwick Manor: the House Beautiful”