Nuffield Place was home to William Morris and his wife Elizabeth, purchased from the widow of Sir John Bowring Wimble. I first stumbled upon Nuffield Place when I was checking out which National Trust property I should visit first. Basildon Park was the property I chose, Ashdown House soon followed as did Greys Court which I visited last week. In my quest to be a local tourist in my own country I am hoping to utilize my free weekend to see as many properties as possible. Joining the national Trust and being a member has been the best decision I have made so far this year. I get to visit these places for free whenever they are open and enjoy free parking too.
Autumn is such a beautiful and colourful time of the year. I never truly appreciated this until I started my local adventures series. Having the time of my life, I have had a chance to experience autumn at its best. Being a hermit, well I like to think myself as one sometimes because I never wanna leave my home. I despises being cold and often prefer warmer weather to cooler weather hence why I never appreciated autumn. Seeing all the burnt orange and hues of dark brown as the leaves change has been totally enchanting. No more so than the beauty I witnessed at Nuffield Place this gone weekend on my local adventures. The beautiful leaves on the tress and the grounds including shrubs have changed colour.
Related: The original Morris Manor
Local adventures: Nuffield Place
Originally the manor was known as Merrow Mount a home to a shipping magnate called Sir John Bowring. The house was designed by Oswald Patridge Milne in 1914, in 1933 it was sold to William Morris, Lord Nuffield. In 1930 Sir William Morris received the honor of a Baron to become Lord. As there was already a Lord Morris, he chose to be called Lord Nuffield from the local village.
He purchased the home mainly because of its proximity to the golf club and Oxford city. The house is not your typical millionaire home and Lord and Lady Nuffield didn’t live like millionaires. Instead they favored a simple life and Nuffield Place was a sanctuary from the busy lives.
Nuffield Place – William Morris
William Morris was the youngest of 5 siblings but two of his brothers died in infancy. He was born in October 1877 in Worcester but his family moved to Oxford when he was aged three. At 14 years old, the young William gave up on his dreams to study medicine and worked at a bicycle factory. This was all in an effort so support his family when his family took ill and he had to help out. A year later William left the Oxford bicycle shop to open his own bicycle making and repair shop.
William set up his shop with only £4 capital but he later grew the company into an organisation called Nuffield. No one knows how much it is worth but up to this day, anything Nuffield came about because of his fortune. The name Nuffield means so many things to so many people; Nuffield college, Nuffield health and many more come to mind. All these are possible because of the generosity of William Morris, he was a philanthropist who gave back much more than the community gave him.
Related: Sir William Morris
Things to do at Nuffield Place
The manor is a modest home and therefore fairly simple but gives you an insight into Lord and Lady Nuffield’s lives. One might not think there is much to do but in fact there is and its lovely to show our appreciation. To a man who brought mass motoring to Britain, supported his country during the two world wars. A man who even in death is still giving back to his country, he was the greatest philanthropists of the 20th century.
- Tour the gardens, at the moment there are restorative works happening with the gardens. Lord and Lady Nuffield spent lots of time in their beloved garden and works are happening to restore it. The estate covers over 9 acres with a 4 acre garden filled with a genteel mix of flowers. You can still explore the grounds and admire the gardens but be mindful of the restorative works happenings
- Have a bit to eat, though the tea room is small it is adequate enough and has the best cakes ever. I always make it a point to visit the tea room at every National Trust property I visit. For when the weather is lovely, you can enjoy tea outside near the fields.
- Shop for souvenirs, I love checking out the shop as well and try to pick something I like. The shops are always small, quaint and nicely displayed with cute pieces. I was able to pick up a landscape calendar for 2018 and it is absolutely gorgeous.
Tour the house, two guided tours are offered at 11 and 12 everyday and house is open at 13.00 for free flow. I always enjoy partaking in the guided tours as you always learn something new. Like for Lady Nuffield, many thought she was a teacher in fact she was a seamstress at the now Debenhams store building.
I truly enjoyed my visit to Lord and Lady Nuffield’s home and encourage everyone to visit this 1930 time capsule. Nothing in the house has been changed, replicas are in place to protect the originals but otherwise all is the same. Take the time to tour each and every single room in the house pay special attention to Lord Nuffield’s bedroom.