Yesterday we went to Snowshill Manor, which is a National Trust site near the top end of the Cotswolds :)
The manor is a largish country house which sits at one end of Snowshill Village.
In the grounds of the house there are several gardens, outbuildings, and even an old priests house which was actually the main living space for the owner Charles Wade and his wife.
Charles Wade had a passion for collecting things which interested him, and his collection included more than 22,000 items at the time he gave the manor to the National Trust >.>
While we were there there was a Japanese Martial Arts demonstration being performed, which is the reason why we chose to go on this particular day ;P
This group train in the art of Kobudo which involves the use of armed and unarmed combat.
They used various training weapons during their demonstration, and then displayed the cutting ability of genuine Japanese Katana at the end…..it was a pretty good display, and they all looked well practiced in their use of the various weapons :)
After watching some Japanese martial arts, we then had our Japanese style picnic that Y’ had prepared for us ;)
The gardens around the manor are all nicely laid out, and there are a lot of interesting different flowers around.
You can also start to see signs of things which had been collected hehe
When you first go into the manor house it’s easy to see why Mr Wade and his wife lived in the priests cottage rather than in the main house; there’s just too much stuff in there ;>.>
Every room is filled with things large and small…from large pieces of furniture, to small nick-knacks.
But while there is a lot of stuff to look at, it is all very interesting, and there is a running theme through the whole collection of design and craftsmanship…..the detail on some of the pieces is amazing ^^
The highlight of the collection for us was a room housing several sets of Japanese Samurai armour ^^
Apparently there are about 26 sets of Japanese armour in the collection, but they weren’t all out on display at this time, although it was impressive to see even this many all together :)
The armour is on display in a darkened room where they are arranged as if resting around a campfire. Atmospheric sounds play from a concealed speaker, and it give a really creepy kind of feel to the room ^_^;
But at the same time it’s also very cool ;P
A strange thing we noticed though, was that there were a couple of shrines on display in there too, which don’t fit an outdoor scene but are interesting to look at…..but the strangest thing about them is that they are the kind of shrines usually found in family homes in Japan as a sort of link to family members who have passed away.
Y’ said that these shrines were very similar in style to the one that was in her grandparent’s house when she was a child (her parents house has a more modern and simpler shrine compared to these)…..it would be interesting to find out how Charles Wade came to acquire something like this, and they’re a little spooky when you think about what their function is ;>.>
The collection continues right up into the attic space of the house, where there’s even more stuff on display, including various old types of bicycle and children’s toys.
It was pretty hot and stuffy up in the attic at the time we were there, so it might be worth keeping that in mind if you plan to visit.
From the attic the collection continues back down through the other half of the house, where the variety of things continues to amaze.
It’s really fun spotting all the different and unusual things which have been gathered here :)
Some parts of the priests house are also open to look into, but you can’t actually go inside many of the rooms.
Even in here there is evidence of his collections spilling over hehe
The bedroom is quite an unusual space; despite Charles Wade not being religious, he decided to replicate the alter which used to be in the house just for the aesthetic of it, and his bed was in a wooden box next to this >.>
His wife’s bedroom was through a little door off from this room where she apparently slept in a similar wooden box bed.
Snowshill Manor is a very unusual place, and the collection there is fascinating.
It’s well worth a visit if you have the chance :)