In Pursuit of the Dream Home: Standen & Wightwick Manor

Hosted by The Royal Oak Foundation

The development of the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th century allowed a small group of enlightened business magnates and professionals to create new, unique homes for themselves in the English countryside away from the hustle and bustle of burgeoning cities.

In this lecture, historian Ian Cox explores two of them—both hugely popular National Trust properties. Standen, near East Grinstead in Sussex, was designed by Phillip Webb, the architect of William Morris’s Red House, for London solicitor James Beale and his wife Margaret and completed in 1894. Wightwick Manor, near Wolverhampton, was built to the plans of Edward Ould and finished in 1893 for Theodore Mander, a West Midlands paint manufacturer, and his wife Flora. Both had arts and crafts furnishing and decoration schemes heavily influenced by William Morris and other contemporary designers.

Ian’s talk will discuss the enduring legacy of this important aspect of Victorian taste as its seen in these two properties. He will also consider the concept of “home is where the heart is” as it applies to both houses, revealing how each was designed and decorated to reflect the tastes and interests of their respective owners and architects.

Ian Cox studied at the Universities of Keele, London and Glasgow. He developed his career as a decorative arts historian in the 1980s and was the Director of the Christie’s Decorative Arts Programme at the University of Glasgow and then Director of Studies for Christie’s Education in London.

Ian also ran a prestigious Decorative Arts Summer School for Christie’s in New York and was Co-Director of the Victorian Society of America London Summer School. Ian has published widely in the history of the decorative arts, particularly on furniture and ceramics.

In more recent times he has directed cultural holiday programmes for the ACE foundation in Cambridge and is a regular round the world lecturer for the Seabourn and Silverseas cruise lines. He has been a lecturer for The Royal Oak Foundation in the USA since 2006.

$15, members*; $20 non-members

To register: Please visit Please enter the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Southern California Chapter code ICAASOCAL20 at check out to receive the discounted co-sponsor price. If you have any questions, please contact Royal Oak at

Image: Oak Room at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

November 24 @ 11:00 am
11:00 am — 12:00 pm (1h)


Royal Oak Foundation