Publication date: 11 November 2012
Category: Regional History
Built in 1880 by a local brewer, Sunnycroft is typical of the Edwardian gentleman s suburban villa. It is one of the very few villas to have survived, complete with mini-estate and largely unaltered contents and decoration. At one time there would have been tens of thousands of similar properties on the outskirts of towns and cities throughout Britain. Sunnycroft makes no claims to great architecture and is rather solid and conservative in style. It is a medley of Old English styles the broad Gothic of the exterior, the mock-Tudor of the lodge and stable block, and the neo-Jacobean of the staircase the whole conveying a sense of establishment and respectability. With its comfortably elegant interiors and furnishings from a wide range of Victorian designers, this suburban villa and its large collection of family belongings bring a bygone age back to the present. Outside the house is a garden that was run with an eye to self-sufficiency. The Landers belief in the values of good housekeeping and growing your own are continued today by the National Trust. Floorplans and colour-coded miniplans guide the reader around the interiors and a colour bird s-eye view shows the villa in its mini-estate setting. Contemporary photos highlight some of Sunnycroft s finer features and period family photos convey some of its special character as a long lived-in and loved family home.