Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Nuffield Place Part 1

A few weeks ago we went to visit Nuffield Place.  It was only donated to the National Trust in 2012, so it is a relatively new acquisition and a house that we had not visited before.  We would definitely return for another visit though.
 
The house was built in 1914 and designed by architect Oswald Patridge Milne, who was a student of the great architect Edwin Lutyens.  Milne also designed another National Trust house called Coleton Fishacre that we visited last year and you can read about that here.  William Morris, who became Lord Nuffield and his wife moved into the house in 1933 and lived their until their deaths.  When Lord Nuffield died he left the house to Nuffield College who then passed it on to the National Trust.
 
Lord Nuffield started out as a boy working in a bicycle shop and went on to open his own shop, before moving into manufacturing motorbikes and then in 1912 he set up WRM Motors which went on to produce many iconic British cars, including the Morris Oxford and many other cars that you may recognise and love.
 
When Lord Nuffield died he left his fortune (estimated to be about £700,000 million in todays money) to charity.  During his lifetime he did a lot of charitable work and gave a lot of money to charity, particularly medical research in the area of anaesthetics and he also gave over a large portion of his car manufacturing plant to making iron lungs used to treat patients suffering from polio with the aim of providing every hospital with an iron lung.
 
Before we visited the house I had no idea about the work or life of Lord Nuffield, but it was fascinating and as I said above, really well worth a visit.
 
Today I will take you around the inside of the house, with the gardens to follow another day.  I was just getting used to my camera, so I am afraid the photos are not brilliant, also it was hard to get room views as the house was so busy, but I hope that you will get the gist!
 
This bicycle was in the first small room into the house which led on to the Billiard Room. 
 


This amazing machine was used by Lord Nuffield in his office and is an exercise horse apparently!  It looked pretty dangerous to me.

You can see from this newspaper clipping that Lord Nuffield was a kidnapping target, but he seems to have taken it in his stride if you read the piece.  Amazing really!


This was the sitting end of the Billiard Room and looked just like a comfortable mens club!



The house is built in the Arts and Crafts style and there were many fixtures and fittings that fitted in so well with this style.  This stick stand was amazing and filled with a multitude of items!



The Drawing Room was decorated in typical 1930's "good taste" and not particularly in the Art Deco style which was popular at the time.


Having said that there were a few little touches of Art Deco here and there such as this amazing clock!




The we passed through the hallway where there are various pieces of china such as this wonderful plate which I think is Imari Pattern and the wonderful Cloisonné panel below.



The Dining Room was lovely and very light and bright and just the sort of room that you could imagine actually using and having a lovely family dinner in.  We loved the toaster on the sideboard.  It was very Deco in style and only produced one slice at a time, so if you were hungry for toast it could have taken a while!


The table was laid beautifully with lovely china and Bohemian glass.


 
The Sitting Room contained Lady Nuffield's desk where she wrote many letters every day.
 

There were lots of lovely objects in the room, including this amazing light and these lovely carved oyster shells.



Lady Nuffield was very fond of Scottie Dogs and owned several who accompanied her all the time.  She loved them and loved these different toy Scottie Dogs and ornaments.




At the top of the stairs there was this very unusual vase which is believed to have been a gift from staff at one of Lord Nuffield's factories and it features many of the badges of the cars that were made at the Cowley Car Plant.


The first room that you come to is the Single Guest Bedroom.



It leads on to the room which is used to display the robes which Lord and Lady Nuffield wore to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II



You then move through Lady Nuffield's dressing room and on to her bedroom.  All around the house were these lovely little signs which had been sewn to tell you which room you were in - more about this in a minute!




After Lady Nuffield's room you go through to a sun room which had this  amazing fan displayed.  Can you imagine this passing health and safety inspections nowadays!



This is Lord Nuffield's bedroom.  He had this cabinet installed so that he could work on ideas and inventions if he was awake or late at night whenever the mood or an idea struck him.



The cabinet contained all sorts of fascinating items.



Now back to Lady Nuffield, she was a great needlewoman and this was what we would now call her craft room.  She had lots of WIP's underway it would seem!   That is Works In Progress for non crafters!  There is indeed a WIP underway in this room at the moment.  A tapestry is being made of the house with visitors invited to add a stitch of two of their own to the piece.



The last room upstairs is the Double Guest Bedroom - although still with only twin beds!

 

That concluded our visit to the house.  It is a home with great atmosphere and lots to see and enjoy and feels as though you could move in or stay for a visit and be made very welcome at any time.
 
The garden is yet to come!
 
Amy 


35 comments:

  1. Again a wonderful day out, my husband and I enjoyed the walk with you and are looking forward to the gardens. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. I am glad that you enjoyed it - and sharing it with your husband! xx

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  2. It looks fabulous, and with such interesting previous owners too. I think I'd want to know more about them, Lord Nuffield sounds like quite a character. Looking forward to seeing the garden now.

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  3. Hello Amy, thnk you, thank you so much for the guide and pictures of Nuffield Place, I truly felt as if I was enjoying the visit with you.

    luv
    irene
    xxx

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  4. I really must get out to some old houses- your post is giving me withdrawal symptoms! :-)

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    1. Oh no, you better get visiting straight away!! xx

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  5. Looks a fascinating place to visit, Amy and your photos are wonderful and give a good impression of what the interior is like. Did you add a stitch or two to the tapestry?:)

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  6. I was excited as soon as I read it was designed by the architect responsible for Coleton Fishacre, and I wasn't disappointed. It looks like this will become another firm favourite of mine. I need to plan a visit.
    Now we know the significance of the name of the Nuffield Health group.

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  7. It seems very much a family home doesn't it? I saw several pieces of furniture that reminded me of furniture in 'older' relatives' houses!
    Jane x

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  8. It looks a wonderful place Amy & how fantastic they have some old WIP's on display. The tapestry project is such a lovely idea.

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  9. I really love this style and time-period in architecture and decorating. It looks like an interesting place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. A fascinating post, Amy! Your pictures are excellent and really captured the atmosphere of the house and its style....loved reading the newspaper account of the kidnap attempt!! Another house for my to-visit list!
    Thank you for sharing. Hope you have a great week.
    Helen xox

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  11. Thanks for taking us round Amy I find these places fascinating, looking forward to seeing the gardens. :) xx

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  12. I love this Amy just beautiful. Thanks by the tour.
    Is lovely and interesting!
    (I was serious when I said you about to make you a towel kitchen I have to buy the the fabric for embroidery
    Im not an artist like you but I love embrodery lol) Tomorrow I hope to go to the Town I have to go to the bank too!

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    1. Gloria, if you check my about page you will find my e-mail address, drop me an e-mail as I don't have your address! Take care and glad that you liked the tour! xx

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  13. Nuffield Place looks a great place to visit. It feels quite homely in your picture and some of the belongings and the way they are displayed reminds me of my childhood. Sarah x

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    1. It really is very homely Sarah and a very enjoyable place to visit. I am glad that you enjoyed it and that it bought back what I hope are happy memories for you! xx

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  14. I loved this post Amy. To see houses such as this and being shown how the previous residents would have lived in there, is a real treat indeed. I loved the crafting of Lady Nuffield, she is a woman after our own hearts with her WiP's and the tapestry where you are invited to add to the piece is a novel idea. She was obviously very patient too as if my hubby started to fill areas with tools such as Lord Nuffield's, I would have to intervene! Thanks so much for the tour, can't wait to see the gardens. xx

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  15. That looks to be a fascinating place. Look forward to the garden!
    I went back to the Coleton Fishacre post too, as it's on our list of places to go this year. We did Greenway last year as well, a bit later than you by the look of it.

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  16. Looks like another great place to visit. I love the idea of the tapestry being created by visitors.x

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  17. I really enjoyed the tour - lots to see. The brown tiles in the fireplace (the photo after the scottie dog) reminds me of my Nanna's which was also built in the '30s. It does look like a real home where you could just drop by. x

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    1. I am so glad that it bought back such good memories for you! It was just like a home that you could drop into for a cup of tea and a chat with a friend! xx

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  18. What a lovely house, I could move in and be quite happy there!

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  19. What a fascinating place, and a wonderful man. I love the cabinet of tools and the exercise horse. And of course the craft room. Oh to have a craft room...

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  20. My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed these photos. So many interesting collectibles that we both have interest in. I know you had a great time.

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  21. That was such an interesting tour :-) Thank you
    Tracey xx

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  22. I loved seeing her craft room! And how outstanding is this house! I could walk away with about everything you took photos of! They had such amazing taste! He sounded like such a wonderful person as well...I bet that is why the house felt comfortable and welcoming! Thank you for taking us on this tour! I can not wait to see the garden!!! Nicole xoxo

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  23. I have never heard of Lord Nuffield, but he sounds like quite a character, and his house still has a lot of the personalities of he and Lady Nuffield. So many interesting pieces, which you have captured and shown us. The drawing room tablecloth really caught my eye - the lace or crotchet section looks quite unusual with its squared off edging (can't really find the way to describe) which has an art deco feel. Very nice. The arts and craft style is very apparent too in lots of the items. What a great place to visit, and thanks for sharing! xx

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    1. I totally agree with all that you said Patricia. In England there are lots of organisations - mostly medical - that bear the name Nuffield, such as a very large and famous hospital in Oxford. I didn't realise what an amazing man he was though. Glad that you enjoyed it! xx

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  24. What a wonderful visit! I love it when these historic houses show that people actually lived in them just like we live in our smaller homes, if you get what I mean.

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  25. Thank you for sharing this Amy, I love these kinds of posts. As others have already said, it was really fascinating and your photos are beautiful. I got a real sense of the place. I love those ornate framed artworks, I have been looking for frames like that for some time and there they are aplenty in Nuffield House!

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  26. Some lovely things in the house. Can't wait to see the gardens.

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  27. What a wonderful house, and very much in the style I love.

    The house I've most enjoyed visiting recently was Brantwood, Ruskin's former home in the Lake District, and styled very similarly. Have you ever been, I think you would love it there, with its wonderful views of Coniston Water. It was lovely too to be able to wander there without being accosted by room guides offering information we didn't need or want. I know you act as a guide yourself Amy and I'm sure you would never impose, but some of your fellows in Wales are rather overly enthusiastic we find.

    I'm already looking forward to the garden's post :)

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  28. Wow, I'm reading the posts backwards as you can tell but the inside of the house is just as fabulous too.

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