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National Trust Unlocked: George Clarke explores Snowshill Manor in the Cotswolds

George Clarke investigated the unique home of a fellow architect at Snowshill Manor in the Cotswolds in National Trust Unlocked.  

In last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show, the presenter took viewers on a tour of the 16th century manor house, which is a treasure trove of more than 22,000 curiosities collected from all around the world. 

‘With a bed inside a box and a monk watching over you while you sleep, this is no ordinary bedroom, but the man who slept in this room was no ordinary man,’ explained George, 

Charles Paget Wade started collecting when he was seven years old – and he never stopped amassing an enormous 22, 000 objects.








Charles Paget Wade started collecting when he was seven years old - and he never stopped amassing an enormous 22, 000 objects. Pictured, some of the collection

Charles Paget Wade started collecting when he was seven years old – and he never stopped amassing an enormous 22, 000 objects. Pictured, some of the collection

Charles' motto was 'let nothing perish' - the result was a collection of over 22, 000 items which are kept clean by a team of just five staff who put in over 1, 000 items of dusting a year. Pictured, some of the collectibles

Charles’ motto was ‘let nothing perish’ – the result was a collection of over 22, 000 items which are kept clean by a team of just five staff who put in over 1, 000 items of dusting a year. Pictured, some of the collectibles

‘This traditional 16th century manor house with 14 acres of picturesque garden caught the eye of Charles Paget Wade in 1919 after inheriting a share in his family’s business,’ explained George,

‘Charles’ grandfather Solomon, was one of 46, 000 people who profited from the abolition of slavery.’

He continued: ‘In 1835, he received £138 from the British government for freeing nine of his enslaved people, while they received nothing.

‘And in 1850 invested his tainted money by purchasing the first of several profitable sugar plantations in St Kitts.’ 

‘Charles continued to run the businesses however, his inheritance meant he had the opportunity to collect beautifully crafted artifacts and turn Snowshill into his own personal museum – a mecca for toys, costumes, clocks and samurai armour – which now pulls in over 100, 000 of us, a year.’

However, in the 20th century. Charles lived in the humble priest’s house next door, so the manor could be dedicated to his unique finds. 

George Clarke investigated the unique home of a fellow architect at Snowshill Manor (pictured, the exterior) in the Cotswolds in last night's episode of National Trust Unlocked

George Clarke investigated the unique home of a fellow architect at Snowshill Manor (pictured, the exterior) in the Cotswolds in last night’s episode of National Trust Unlocked

George Clarke told how one of the rooms contained a bed inside a box and a monk watching over you while you sleep (pictured)

George Clarke told how one of the rooms contained a bed inside a box and a monk watching over you while you sleep (pictured)

Charles turned Snowshill into his own personal museum - a mecca for toys, costumes, clocks and samurai armour - which now pulls in over 100, 000 of us, a year. Pictured, several musical instruments

Charles turned Snowshill into his own personal museum – a mecca for toys, costumes, clocks and samurai armour – which now pulls in over 100, 000 of us, a year. Pictured, several musical instruments

‘By removing plaster ceilings and fitting rooms with oak panelling, he brought the house in line with arts and crafts taste – all 20 rooms creating a haven for his treasure trove of handmade things,’ said George. 

‘All good architects love to collect a few architectural models, but there are so many in here, it’s unbelievable ‘What’s even more incredible is that they were all handcrafted by Charles Wade himself.’

Charles’ motto was ‘let nothing perish’ – the result was a collection of over 22, 000 items which are kept clean by a team of just five staff who put in over 1, 000 items of dusting a year. 

In 1952, Wade gifted the property to the National Trust – one stipulation was that no items would be labelled in order to stimulate guests’ curiosity.

Charles had to take a suit of armour (pictured) to London but no taxi would take him, so he put it on and walked down the street. The next moment he was arrested. To his joy, the police van took him to London

Charles had to take a suit of armour (pictured) to London but no taxi would take him, so he put it on and walked down the street. The next moment he was arrested. To his joy, the police van took him to London

Amongst the collection includes a varied selection of costumes and masks (pictured)

Amongst the collection includes a varied selection of costumes and masks (pictured)

The traditional 16th century manor house boasts 14 acres of picturesque garden. Pictured, one of the rooms inside

The traditional 16th century manor house boasts 14 acres of picturesque garden. Pictured, one of the rooms inside

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