Snowshill Manor is probably the most intriguing property owned by the English National Trust, who maintain and protect significant and beautiful properties that were once owned by wealthy aristocrats, or merchants. It’s certainly one of our favourite places to visit!
The manor dates back to the 9th century, but the main building was built much later, surviving sections having been constructed in the mid-16th century. By the early 20th century the building was in disrepair and was purchased by a bachelor architect, Charles Paget Wade, looking for somewhere to house a growing collection of objects. The National Trust website will show you just how extraordinary Wade’s collection is – I hope will tempt you to visit.
A few years ago, Will and I spotted what was obviously Charles Paget Wade’s horoscope, engraved on a paving slab in the garden. At that time, the official National Trust guidebook made no reference to the horoscope and, when I asked one of the volunteer guides, they just shrugged. However, the latest guidebook, published in 2016, includes a detailed sketch of the horoscope, with notes by Wade, so I suspect someone has been researching his notebooks in recent years and the in-house guides are now aware of this charming feature. The drawing in the notebook is very accurate and includes some fixed stars and the Moon’s Nodes, so Wade definitely knew a lot about astrology.