Heritage Open Weekends in September

I remind you every year about the wonderful Heritage Open Weekends in September. The public are given the chance to visit museums, churches, etc free of charge.

Some that belong to National Trust and cost about £10, others for instance are self-funding and an entrance fee is charged. One such building is the superb Winterbourne House and Gardens, which was open on Sunday 9thSeptember from 10am till 5.30pm.

Winterbourne House and Garden were designed in 1903 as a family home for Johnand Margaret Nettlefold. John Nettlefold commissioned local architect Joseph Lancaster Ball to design and build the house which was finished in 1904. The house was made of brick and tile and has an intentionally wavy roof line. Margaret Nettlefold designed the original garden herself.

A typical fireplace from the period

John Nettlefold’s Study

Clock, dresser, bedroom and the nursery

In 1944 Winterbourne was bequeathed to the University. The house and garden remain a part of the University. The house and garden are now open as a visitor attraction and the garden is grade II listed.

Two frames left a range of GKN produce and on the right a lion made entirely of GKN Screws

The garden contains many plants from across the world. Highlights include an NCCPGcollection of Anthemis, an orchid house, alpine garden, arid house, geographic beds and a Hazel (Corylus)tunnel. Other features of the garden include a restored wooden pergola, sunken rock garden, and a lean-to glasshouse that is notable for having been built on a slant. In 2011 a pleachedlime walk was planted to reinstate one that was part of the original garden.

Left is a banana plant; right a cactus about 2ft high

The design of the house was intended to make the best use of available light; notable features are its large windows, white painted panelling and south facing rooms. The house contains furniture dating from the late Victorian period to the 1920s. Restored rooms include a drawing room, study, bedrooms and nursery. The visitor tearoom is located where the original dining room would have been.

The Nettlefolds lived in the house with their children until Nettlefold's health meant he had to move away. In 1919, Margaret Nettlefold sold Winterbourne and moved away to be closer to her husband.

A very enjoyable dry and sunny afternoon spent in idyllic surroundings. Also a tea room serving a good choice of drinks, cakes and sandwiches at reasonable prices. This year also had the craft marquees on the lawn.

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