Winterbourne House is celebrating its first anniversary of opening to the public after an extensive renovation project that has restored the building to its original Edwardian Arts and Crafts appearance.
Set in 7 acres of botanic gardens, Winterbourne is rather a hidden gem, just a mile from the centre of industrial Birmingham, but with the feel of a country house. It was originally built in 1903, following the contemporary Arts and Crafts philosophy spearheaded by William Morris and John Ruskin.
It was bequeathed to the University of Birmingham in 1944 and used as office space, and then as storage space, for many years. The botanic gardens, inspired by the colour-oriented planting ideas of Gertrude Jekyll, were opened to the public first; the restoration of the house was a major project that was completed just last year.
Today, the house has been fully refurbished in a style true to the Edwardian period, with exhibitions giving an insight into what life was like for the original owners in the early 1900s. You can learn about John Nettleford’s work in industry and as a social reformer, and Margaret Nettlefold’s designs for the garden.
If a day spent imagining yourself back into the time of E M Forster’s Howards End appeals, then Winterbourne House is the perfect place to go. What’s more, the summer events are now in full swing, so the garden will host performances of Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and alfresco jazz by candlelight.
Visit the Winterbourne House and Garden website to find out more.