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Snowshill is a charming Tudor manor house in the Cotswolds, but what makes it particularly interesting are the interior displays of the eccentric collections of Charles Paget Wade, who rebuilt the ruined manor beginning in 1919.
Wade spent a lifetime acquiring items of the highest craftsmanship and design from around the world, in accordance with his Arts and Crafts Movement philosophy of the value of the individual artisan.
The collection includes musical instruments, clocks, toys, bicycles, weaver's and spinners tools, costumes and Japanese armour to list just a few of the 22,000 items on display. Personally I found the collection fairly random and haphazard, without any theme, but perhaps this is what makes it so intriguing, the absence of labels did not help
Wade amassed his varied collection of craftsmanship between 1900 and 1951, but still found time to create a garden on the site of the old farmyard. He laid out its terraces and ponds between 1920 and 1923 in collaboration with Arts and Crafts architect M H Baillie-Scott. The garden is arranged in distinct rooms with the emphasis on blue and purple colours in the planting, which is complemented by garden ornaments painted in Wade Blue.
It is the eccentricity of the contents and garden that makes this National Trust property so refreshingly different. Several guests have even reported seeing a ghost at snowshill in the form of a monk.
You will find this unusual property near Dursley in Gloucestershire off the A44.