Wightwick Manor is a Victorian house and gardens owned by the National Trust.
This isn't to say that the Mander family have actually moved out. A portion of the old bedrooms were converted into a self-contained flat, cunningly concealed in the center of the house. On the day that I visited, Sir Charles and Lady Karin Mander were in residence. We didn't see them.
Wightwick Manor is an unusual National Trust property. For a start, it's not as Elizabethan as it looks. When it was donated to the heritage organization, in 1937, it was only fifty years old.
As part of his generous gift, Geoffrey Mander included 20,000 shares in his company. The proceeds from that would cover the upkeep of the house.
Theodore (pictured) and Flora Mander began work on the house in 1887. Around the same time, Theodore happened to catch a lecture given by the playwright and poet Oscar Wilde. He talked about 'The House Beautiful', which argued that there should be nothing in any home which is not either functional or beautiful. For preference, it should be both.
Theodore Mander took him at his word. He and Flora immediately altered the building plans to ensure that every inch of their home fit the bill. They embraced the Aesthetic Movement with all the passion in their souls.
The result is truly impressive, with secret staircases and boudoirs; a great hall and gallery; ornate passageways and themed bedrooms.
And that's when Flora Mander started buying the artwork.