After lunch we had a tour of the house. John, another volunteer guide, gave us all the background history to the family and house which was designed using all local building materials and would have been state of the art in its day. Throughout the property we saw evidence of the arts and crafts ethos - decorative fixtures and fittings, all individually made, no mass production here, William de Morgan porcelain, electric lights with sunflower style sconces, and everywhere we looked - a William Morris wallpaper fest - "willow"; "pomegranate" "strawberry thief" and "trellis", some of the 50 different wallpapers he designed. Reception rooms, orangery, hallways, bedrooms all were festooned, even the hallway to the kitchen - all happily living together and bringing the outside in.
We thoroughly enjoyed our bit of culture in the countryside. It was so pleasant to wander around together, taking time to gaze and gossip.
"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” William would have approved.