On with the minimoon posts! Last time I left you hanging after our visit to Stow on the Wold and the best furniture shop in the world (stay tuned for bedroom furniture updates in the next couple of weeks!), and now we’re heading into part 2 of day 2 where we pulled out our National Trust membership cards and headed over to Snowshill Manor. We’d initially planned to have this as a day full of National Trust visits, but we quickly had to scrap part 1 of that plan, Hailes Abbey, as the route from Stow to the property was super heavy with traffic following an accident meaning we spun the car round and skipped to the next property on the plan.
Snowshill Manor is based in the pretty village of Snowshill in Gloucestershire – it’s described as a stereotypical Cotswolds building made out of local stone, with the main part of the building dating back to the 16th century. The key draw to the manor is the vast array of collections housed there by owner Charles Wade, whose motto was “Let nothing perish”. Between 1900 and 1951, when the house was gifted to the National Trust, he amassed vast collections including 26 suits of Japanese armour, toys, musical instruments and more.
Unfortunately, we didn’t actually manage to make it inside the house to view the collections – and also to hear more about the rumoured ghosts on the property. It was pretty busy when we arrived around midday and we were given a “ticket” with a time at which we could enter the house – a few hours later! We decided to enter the property anyway, explore the gardens and see if there was enough to see and do before that time, but sadly, due to some wet weather in the days running up to our visit (that apparently – and luckily for our wedding! – never reached North Yorkshire!), parts of the garden were closed, meaning it was a limited space we could explore.
Nevertheless, the parts we were able to see were beautiful. Snowshill Manor is unusual as a stately home visit in that you arrive and pay at a desk at the entrance then follow a winding and convoluted path through meadows and woodland to reach the gardens and house themselves. This walk was very pretty, particularly as the blossoms and blooms were out following the warm but damp weather. I believe there was also a small shuttle vehicle for visitors that couldn’t make the walk.
The gardens at Snowshill Manor are designed to be an extension of the house, so even though we didn’t get to go inside, it was still interesting to see these. There were a series of terraces and ponds leading to a dovecote, a kitchen garden, orchards and even “Wolf’s Cove” – a model village!
We spent probably around an hour and a half exploring the meadows, orchards and gardens, but like I said, decided we didn’t have quite enough to do before our entry time to the house (plus I was hungry!!) so we headed back to the car to continue our day elsewhere and find food!