Publication date: 1 July 2013
Category: Regional History
There is another William Morris. Not the William Morris of Arts and Crafts fame treasured for his ever-so-English wallpapers, fabrics and furniture, but the one – equally, if not more, important – to whom we owe the Morris Minor and other much-loved British cars. William Morris, later known as Lord Nuffield, brought cheap motoring to Britain, by introducing mass production processes and relying on economies of scale. But his legacy stretches beyond his pioneering work with cars. As one of the greatest philanthropists of the 20th century, he helped many causes, the most important of which is anaesthesia. We have him to thank for pain-free operations. Recently taken over by the National Trust, Nuffield Place was Lord Nuffield’s home in rural Oxfordshire from 1933 until his death in 1963. Full of personal memorabilia and 1930s furniture and artefacts, this time-capsule house reveals much about the life and times in which he and his wife Elizabeth lived. But it also offers surprising insights into the personality of this modest millionaire. Rather than opulence and display, the general atmosphere is one of homeliness and comfort. As this beautifully illustrated guidebook shows, Nuffield Place is full of charming detail. From amusing anecdotes to quirky 1930s artefacts and surprising nooks and crannies, the house is a delight to discover. The garden, which was particularly treasured by Lady Nuffield, combines lawns, herbaceous borders, yew hedges, a pergola and rock garden. It is currently being restored to its former glory.