Nettlefold lived with his wife Margaret and family at Winterbourne. Winterbourne House and Garden were designed in 1903 as the family home. John Nettlefold commissioned local architect Joseph Lancaster Ball to design and build the house which was finished in 1904. The house was made of brick and tile and has an intentionally wavy roof line. Margaret Nettlefold designed the original garden herself. The influence of designer Gertrude Jekyll can be seen in the colour themed border planting.
The Nettlefolds lived in the house with their children until Nettlefold's health meant he had to move away. In 1919, Margaret Nettlefold sold Winterbourne and moved away to be closer to her husband. The property was then bought by the Wheelock family who had 9 children. Wheelock was a local lawyer. The Wheelocks stayed at Winterbourne until 1925 when it was purchased by John Nicolson who was a successful businessman. Nicolson was a keen gardener and made several improvements to the garden at Winterbourne including expanding the rock garden and adding an alpine area. Nicolson remained at the house until his death in 1944 and Winterbourne was bequeathed to the University. The house and garden remain a part of the University of Birmingham.
The University of Birmingham has made varied use of the building since 1944 but in 2010 it was restored to its former glory as a family home (complete with William Morris design wallpapers). The garden had already undergone a period of restoration. The house and garden are now open as a visitor attraction and the garden is grade II listed.
The garden contains many plants from across the world. Highlights include an NCCPG collection of Anthemis, an orchid house, alpine garden, arid house, geographic beds and a Hazel (Corylus) tunnel. Other features of the garden include a restored wooden pergola, sunken rock garden, and a lean-to glasshouse that is notable for having been built on a slant. In 2011 a pleached lime walk was planted to reinstate one that was part of the original garden
The design of the house was intended to make the best use of available light; notable features are its large windows, white painted panelling and south facing rooms. The house contains furniture dating from the late Victorian period to the 1920s. Restored rooms include a drawing room, study, bedroom and nursery. The visitor tearoom is located where the original dining room would have been.
The house is well worth a visit. Click here
to go to the website.
Margaret Nettlefold was the daughter of Arthur Chamberlain and Louisa Chamberlain (nee Kenrick). She was the eldes of 9 children.
Margaret was born in 1871and was amongst the first pupils to attend Edgbaston High School for Girls. After leaving high school, Margaret became a student at the Birmingham School of Art.
Margaret married John Sutton Nettlefold in 1891 at the Church of the Messiah, Old Street, Birmingham. Margaret designed the garden at Winterbourne house after its completion in 1904. She was the mother of Evelyn, Annie (Nina), John Kenrick, Beatrice, Lois and Valerie Nettlefold. Also mother of Lousia and Robert Nettlefold who died in childhood.
The following links give more information on the various families.
Chamberlain Family Tree
Kenrick Family Tree
The Steer Family