I've said it was remarkable, but haven't explained why. Here's what the National Trust who own the property say.....
"Charles Wade was a treasure-seeker who loved buying and restoring beautifully made objects. His family motto was 'Let nothing perish', and he spent his inherited wealth doing just that, amassing a spectacular collection of everyday and extraordinary objects from across the globe. He restored the ancient Cotswold manor house specifically to display these unlikely treasures. Laid out with creative flair, just as Mr Wade intended, the Manor is literally packed to the rafters with thousands of unusual objects – from tiny toys to splendid suits of Samurai armour. The Manor is surrounded by an equally characterful hand-crafted terraced garden."
Although the collection is amazingly diverse, most of the objects including the Samurai armour were bought locally in Gloucestershire.
He filled the house to capacity and then had to move into the outhouses (above). These next photos show the bathroom and the living areas.
"The manor of Snowshill was owned by Winchcombe Abbey from 821 until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. It then passed to the Crown, and was given as a gift to Katherine Parr, wife to King Henry VIII.
Since then, many alterations and additions have been made by the house's many owners and tenants. The main part of the current house dates from around 1500. It was altered and extended in the 17th century, and the south front displays classical details of c1720.
By 1919, the manor was a semi-derelict farm. It was bought and restored by a man named Charles Paget Wade. Ironically the neglect that the house had suffered from was exactly what attracted Wade. A house with no modern additions or alterations was the ideal place to display his historic and unique collection."
This was his bed.
Charles Paget Wade
JB Priestly described Wade as 'My eccentric, but charming friend of the fantastic manor house.'
"Charles Wade was an architect and craftsman from Yoxford in Suffolk, who inherited sugar estates in the West Indies from his father. This enabled him to devote his life to amassing his enormous and varied collection of craftsmanship, which he acquired mainly from antique shops and dealers in the UK.
Wade spent many hours in the Manor house arranging and restoring his collection, whilst living in the old priest's house in the courtyard."
I have, as you know, a fascination with boxes. Lots of drawers and cupboards to put things in but delightfully, behind a closed door. Charles Wade was a man of similar tastes and the house is stacked with cabinets like these and they are all brimming with little treasures. The insides of which I managed to photograph but the lighting was very low.
It has four bolts which fire across the lid into each of the sides, and the key hole you see on the front is false.
At some point, someone has tried to break in from the bottom, but didn't succeed. I think you'd need gelignite.
What do you imagine you could keep in these small drawers? I could only think of seeds collected or to be sown in a particular month, but the guide wasn't convinced. BTW, look at the elephant above. A carving done by someone who had never seen an elephant.
The label on the cabinet below explains that the carvings were done by French prisoners of war during the time of Napoleon...probably in bone.
I shall leave you today with a peek inside it. Back tomorrow with the Samurai and musical instuments.