In the small village of Snowshill you will find a Cotswolds manor house like no other. Inside this unique building you will be transported into the world of a truly unique character: Mr Charles Paget Wade.
Charles was a unique and special character. He was an architect, an artist, a craftsman and above all a treasure seeker. From a very young age he was captivated by the beauty of handmade, skilfully crafted objects. Inheriting his families’ plantations and the wealth that came with them allowed him to amass a spectacular collection of handcrafted objects from across the globe. While, as maybe expected, the collection includes awe-inspiring items like 28 suits of Samurai armour it also includes everyday, traditional objects such as bicycles and spinning wheels. To many it may seem a bizarre collection of items collected by an eccentric wealthy man yet these objects are connected by the skill, hard work and dedication of the craftsmen that created them and the respect that Charles Wade had for these, often underappreciated, men and women. Wade’s motto which features heavily in his coat of arms was ‘Let Nothing Perish’ and this is certainly represented within the Manor.
Charles purchased Snowshill Manor in 1919 and spent three years restoring it to become the perfect home for his growing collection. Charles always intended to live in the humble Priest’s House next door and filled the 20 rooms of the Manor with his collection so that anyone with an interest in design and craftsmanship could marvel and learn from the objects he treasured. He received numerous guests at Snowshill including J.B Priestley, Virginia Woolf and Queen Mary. We are very lucky to have Charles’ diaries, papers and journals; these provide priceless information about his life, thoughts and impressions. He worked hard to create an atmospheric home for his collection and this was represented in the layout, lighting and lack of labels. Wade entrusted the Manor and his collection to the National Trust in 1951 to ensure that his life’s work would continue to inspire and delight future generations.
The manor is filled with beautiful objects and captivating stories and we will be using our blog to highlight some of Snowshill’s special features. We will also be highlighting those modern day skilled individuals who help us to maintain the Manor and its collection and ensure that we ‘Let Nothing Perish’.