In 1937 local paint manufacturer and liberal MP Geoffrey Mander did something remarkable - he persuaded the National Trust to accept a house that was just 50 years old.
The timber-frame manor had been left to him by his father Theodore who – inspired by lecture on 'the House Beautiful' by Oscar Wilde – had decorated its interiors with original wallpapers and fabrics by William Morris and his Arts & Crafts contemporaries.
Wightwick had fallen out of style by the 1930s, yet was such a perfect example of the Aesthetic movement that Mander convinced the Trust it was worthy of preservation. He and his second wife Rosalie became its live-in curators, opening the house to the public and adding to its contents. Most notable is the collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Rossetti and Burne-Jones, as well as examples of Kempe glass and De Morgan ceramics.
The Grade II listed Arts & Crafts garden, designed by Thomas Mawson, reflects the style and character of the house.