July 2011 marks a 100 years since Winterbourne was featured in Country Life.
“Winterbourne is another of the admirable houses which issue jointly from the taste of the Birmingham public and the skill of its architects.” Country Life July 1911.
This Edwardian Arts & Crafts property was originally built for John and Margaret Nettlefold in 1903. It was Margaret who designed the garden at Winterbourne, inspired by the books and garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll. In 2008 the garden was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 2008. However, in 1944 the house was bequeathed to the University of Birmingham by its third owner John Macdonald Nicolson whose sons did not want it because of the upkeep. For 60 years the house served first as halls of residence, then classrooms for various university departments and then the property remained empty for a number of years.
After a successful bid for funding from the University of Birmingham, the house was restored and opened to the public in 2010. From reading the article from the Country Life magazine, in 1911, it reveals that the restoration that has taken place has been sympathetic to the original design.
Both the house and garden hold a wide range of public events, lectures and exhibition rooms which bring to life the history of the former owners, John and Margaret Nettlefold, so why not take a look and step back in time to discover what life was like during Edwardian days.
Winterbourne House is open 7 days a week from 10am – 6pm (April – September). Why not join Casey Greene and his band for an evening of traditional jazz in the garden on Saturday 23rd July, 19:30 – 22:30 for £15. More details of Jazz by Candlelight and other events can be found at www.winterbourne.org.uk