Oxfordshire, England – The home of William Morris, founder of Britain’s Morris Motor Company, has been offered to the National Trust charity. The Trust has launched a campaign to raise £600,000 to preserve the house, which it calls a “time capsule.”
The Morris Motor Company started in 1910 when bicycle manufacturer William Morris, later Lord Nuffield, turned his attention to cars. He introduced the two-seat Morris Oxford “Bullnose” three years later, helping to usher in the era of affordable mass-produced automobiles. As his fortune grew, Morris gave away over £30 million, the equivalent of £11 billion today, to support education, hospitals and medical research for the public.
He lived in Nuffield Place in Oxfordshire from 1933 until his death in 1963 and left it to Nuffield College in Oxford, which he founded. The college preserved the house and until recently has opened it to the public on a limited basis with the assistance of volunteers. The college has now offered it to the National Trust, a charity with a mandate to preserve places of historic interest in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Despite Lord Nuffield’s extraordinary philanthropy and achievements, he remains relatively unknown,” said Richard Henderson, general manager of the National Trust. “His home is a wonderful time capsule without any of the ‘show’ of a multi-millionaire and reveals so much about the man who changed many people’s lives for the better. We are determined to open the house as soon as possible and to celebrate Lord Nuffield’s remarkable story. But we need to raise the funds to get the necessary visitor facilities in place and we hope our supporters will help us to meet our target.”
Many of Lord and Lady Nuffield’s possessions are still where they left them, including robes worn to official functions, personal letters and books, and framed cartoons and photographs. Much of the original decoration and most of the furnishings also remain, including a miniature workshop with collection of tools.
For more information, visit National Trust.