National Trust property Sunnycroft sits hidden away in Wellington’s leafy suburbs, about 10 minutes’ walk from the centre of the town. It was originally built in 1880 by J.G.Wackrill, founder of the Shropshire Brewery, and was completed in 1899 by its second owner Mrs Jane Slaney, the wealthy widow of a Wellington spirit merchant. Purchased a few years later by local solicitor John Lander, it remained in the Lander family until his granddaughter Joan bequethed it to the National Trust on her death in 1997.
Sunnycroft is no grand stately home, but step inside and you’ll realise why this particular middle class residence is so special. The Landers, clearly not victims of fashion, kept their home remarkably unaltered throughout the 20th century, leaving us today with a unique time capsule of late Victorian provincial life.
Whilst the National Trust have done a lot of work in restoring the house to its former glory, almost all the furnishings and objects you’ll see inside today were there when they arrived at the turn of the millennium – from 100 year-old wallpaper to a cupboard of wartime medicines. And there is more to see in the grounds. With its impressive glass house, pigsties, kitchen garden and orchard, not to mention the Daimler in the garage, Sunnycroft stands like a mini-country estate in the suburbs.
You can find out more about Sunnycroft, its facilities and events at the National Trust’s website.