Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Well, you'd never believe it!

This morning (12th Sept) we took bus 139 from Wallingford to Nuffield Place where after a tour of the house we visited the National Trust gift shop where we met this lady.  

As we walked in she asked if we lived on a boat, were we Carol and George? Well we were gobsmacked I can tell you!  She has followed our blog for many years and spoke of nb Rock 'n' Roll as well as our travels on Still Rockin'.  It was lovely to meet you Sheila and hope that you continue to enjoy following our watery wanderings.

Now, make your self a cuppa, put your feet up and come on tour with me ...
Wonderful far reaching views as we walk along the lane

... to Nuffield Place's gateway
First port of call of course was the reception area to show our National Trust membership cards and to hear what was happening today ... a guided tour of the four main rooms in the house at 11, a guided tour of the garden at 12 and a free-flow tour of the house from 1pm.
Click on any of the photos to enlarge

We'd arrived at about 10:30 so for half an hour wondered around the vegetable garden and peeked inside the potting shed

I loved the dahlias around the veg plots by the greenhouse

The Reception area where we purchased some potatoes dug this morning and green beans picked today too

We walked through the butterfly garden

... and the wildflower meadow which has not been cultivated for over 400 years and would look amazing during the summer
... and to the garage

... where we found this potted history of William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield and founder of Morris Motors Limited, the Nuffield Foundation, Nuffield Trust and Nuffield College, Oxford  ...

Waiting for the house tour to begin ...
The house has been left as near as possible to how Lord and Lady Nuffield would have left it.  After Lord Nuffield died he willed the house to Nuffield College and they used it for 40 years until it was put into the hands of the National Trust in 2011

The Billiard Room ...

... with its cosy seating area and a photo on the wall of Morris' first venture into business with a capital of £4, repairing and later building bicycles initially in his parents front room!
He had been apprenticed to an Oxford bicycle shop at the age of 14 and left after being refused a pay rise after 2 years.

A request from the Private Secretary to Edward, Prince of Wales to play golf at Huntercombe Golf Course in July 1929
The Dining Room
 With beautiful Bohemian Blue Glassware
 ... its exquisite tapestry chair covers
 and displays of fine china and a collection of Clarise Cliff pottery
Fireplace tiles throughout the house were also lovely as were the many tapestry fire screens in the hearths.

The Entertaining Room
 ... with a fireplace at each end

As a 'Stokie' born in the Potteries, this commemorative mug caught my eye because when I left school in 1964 my first job was with a company called British American Glass Co. Ltd. (later Allied English Potteries) who were the buying office for a UK wide glass and china retail business called Lawley's Glass and China Limited which owned Paragon China amongst many other pottery companies.  I was secretary to the buyer.
The Sitting Room

This was the room that Lord and Lady Nuffield used most often and where Lord Nuffield had his desk. Many of their favourite knick-nacks and pictures were displayed here and Lady Nuffield would have enjoyed the company of her scottie dogs.
The Landing 
As you may have gathered Lady Nuffield loved her tapestries and on the landing are some fine examples of Berlin Tapesties, I loved the story in this one of the Roundheads sacking a Royalist's home.

The Bedrooms

Lord Nuffield's bedroom made us smile - a lot! He was a very frugal man and concocted his own bedside light, carpeted the floor with stitched together car mats 

... and in his wardrobe were all his treasures and tools including between the Parker Quink and wooden mallet is his pickled appendix!
As part of the extension to Nuffield Place, Lord Nuffield created a sunroom where there had once been a balcony which also gave access to ...

 ... Lady Nuffield's bedroom

 ... and where she would sit writing her correspondence and her diary 
... overlooking the garden.
Personally I thought that the double guest room was the best in the house.  I think there was a total of five bedrooms each with a dressing room

... and three bathrooms each a similar design but different colours - very 1960's!
 Another beautiful tapestry - Jane Gresty's work aged 12 years in 1851.

And so back into the garden which was laid out by the architect Oswald Partridge Milne who was once an assistant to Lutyens.  When the house was taken into NT hands the garden was very overgrown and so will be for some time to come 'a work in progress'.

We had a great six hours here and hope you've enjoyed it too.


Sheila said...

It was nice to meet you both. Lovely blog about Nuffield place. I mentioned to my daughter that I met you and way back in July 2011 she also met you they were on a wide beam on their honeymoon on the Kennet. Thanks Sheila.

Carol said...

Hi Sheila, thank you for commenting, it was good to hear from you. Truly amazing that we also met your daughter on the K&A in 2011 and that she remembers it! Can she remember where we met, I may have a picture in my huge photo albums of our travels.

Vallypee said...

What a serendipitous meeting, Carol! The house is lovely. I really like the exterior colours and shutters. It must be wonderful to have so many marvellous historic houses to visit! I'd hate to have to clean and dust all that though :)

Carol said...

I agree Val! x

Jennie said...

Hi Carole - thank you so much for this wonderful post - I really enjoyed it and Nuffield Place is definitely on my wish list of places to visit. Fantastic pictures and how wonderful to meet a blog reader. Jennie x

Gillygrove said...

Fantastic photos as always Carol. We wont pass you again this year as we are now back on the Oxford does seem narrow!!

Thanks to George for his efforts on our aerial leads.

I am slowly working on Geoff to get him back to the Thames next year....

Have a good winter

Carol said...

Thanks for the comment Jennie, glad you enjoyed it - well worth a visit. Happy cruising xx

Carol said...

Thanks Gill, keep working on him to come back to the Thames next year. Happy cruising. xx