On one of the first lovely warm Spring afternoons of the year 38 FHS members visited Rodmarton Manor. This was a follow up visit to the Arts and Crafts talk the previous November. Rodmarton Manor was built for and by Claud and Margaret Biddulph between 1909 and 1929.
The house was designed by Ernest Barnsley and he was master of works from 1909 until he died in 1926. It was built in sections each part was built on a bigger scale and at an angle to the previous part. Building stopped for World War One. It was lived in from
1915. The house was not fully finished until 1929 with the completion of the chapel.
In the Arts and Crafts tradition local materials were used as much as possible. Stone was used from a local quarry and timber from the estate woods. Many examples of the work of the famous local Arts and Crafts exponents from the Sapperton workshops: Ernest, Edward and Sidney Barnsley, Ernest Gimson, Peter Waals, Alfred and Louise Powell and Norman Jewson were on display.
The whole estate and village also made a contribution in the house from some woodwork by the gamekeeper to the needlework hangings of Rodmarton’s Woman’s Guild. The whole house is a reflection of the Arts and Crafts movement and FHS members really enjoyed the beautifully crafted furniture, pottery and decoration all on the plain, functional and beautiful lines.
Photography was not allowed inside the house but after the tour members were free to tour the gardens, designed by Barnsley as well – each part of the garden being a different room.