top of page
Tyntesfield 2 centre.jpg
Tyntesfield 2.jpg


*          *          *

Departure Point for Coach Trips

The committee has made arrangements with St Marks Church, Bilton for use of their car park so, unless stated, we depart from there. We try to use as little space as possible, so please park on the side away from the church and as close together as possible.



Walk from Stockton                                                                                        Wednesday 3rd May 2023


Meet at Crown Inn, Stockton for a 10 am start

Organised by Mark Furber   Supported by Flick Furber

The walk starts from the Crown Inn at Stockton at 10 a.m. Passing the village church we join the Millennium Way heading towards Napton. We reach the Southam to Napton Road, turn left for a few yards, and drop down onto the towpath of the Oxford Canal.

The towpath is fairly rough and I would advise bringing a walking pole as a precaution. We walk along the towpath passing the Napton Marina and then we join the Grand Union canal and head back towards Stockton where we can take lunch at the Crown.

If you would like lunch the menu is on the Inn’s web page. Please let me know your choices so I can pre-order them with the Inn.

The walk is about 6 miles long and we should get back to the Crown by 12.45p.m.

*          *          *

Wightwick Manor   Staffordshire                                                                Wednesday 17th May 2022


By coach departing at 9.15 a.m.

Organised by George Brunavs   Supported by Val Brunavs

Wightwick Manor is a house of real beauty, built and furnished under the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris wallpapers, furniture, textiles and carpets, William de Morgan tiles, Kempe stained glass and Benson metalwork set off paintings and drawings by Ford Madox Brown, Holman Hunt, Millais, Burne-Jones and Ruskin. Also, Jacobean furniture, oriental porcelain and Persian rugs complement rather than compete with the nineteenth-century work.

wightwick 1.jpg

Built in two stages in 1887 and 1893, Wightwick was commissioned by Theodore Mander, a paint and varnish manufacturer, from the Liverpool architect, Edward Ould, and was designed in a traditional half-timbered idiom. The western 1887 half follows the Norman Shaw “Old English” manner, while the 1983 eastern half is more richly decorated and is clearly inspired by the Tudor buildings of the locality. Decorative black and white timbering, in stripe, swirls and quatrefoils, sits on a plinth of local stone, with banks of spiral Tudor-style chimneys crowning the gabled roofline.  In keeping with the late-medieval-style, the heart of the house is the magnificent great parlour, like a great hall, complete with a minstrels’ gallery and open timber roof. A really beautiful room.

Entrance Hall and Inglenook fireplace

wightwick 2.jpg

 The attractive 17-acre garden slopes down to a little valley and has terraces, clipped yew hedges, topiary, orchards and winding paths, the creation of the Edwardian landscape architect Thomas Mawson.

wightwick 3.jpg

Timetable for our day:

Depart from St. Mark’s, Bilton, at 9.15 am.

Coach directly to Wightwick Manor, arriving 10.45-11.00 am.

Welcoming tea/coffee (included), followed by introductory talk after which you are free to explore the house and garden.

Lunch (not incuded) is available in the Tearoom until 2.30 pm.

Depart Wightwick at 4.30 pm, arriving back in Bilton at 6.00 pm.

Don’t forget to bring your NT membership cards!

Non-members will be required to pay the entrance fee (£13 in Nov 2022)

*          *          *

JCB   Uttoxeter                                                                                                    Monday 5th June 2023 


By coach departing at 8.15 am 


Organised by Pauline Springett  Supporter required

JCB first began in 1945, the company has always been driven by innovation and that is at the very core of The Story of JCB. There are 22 plants on four continents which makes it one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies. In the 1820s, the Bamford family were originally blacksmiths in Uttoxeter. During the late 50s JCB became renowned for its branding (its logo and use of colour). The brilliant yellow and red livery was introduced and the famous JCB logo appeared. JCB  started in a lock-up garage. The first product was a tipping trailer made from wartime scrap.  JCB is renowned for its “world firsts” (from 1945 to 2011, 204 Patents have been issued to JCB)


Our day starts by leaving St Mark’s car park at 8.15 am arriving at JCB visitors centre at 10 am. On arrival coffee/tea/water will be served with biscuits.   


Members will be split into groups of 10 and then escorted to the cinema where  we will be given a talk on the history of the company, followed by a visit to the gift shop and a tour of the factory.  After the tour members will be taken to the dining room to be served a hot 2-course buffet lunch, including a dessert. On the booking form members should indicate any dietary requirements. Lunch will be served at approximately 12.00 – 12.30.  We will leave Uttoxeter at approx. 1.30 arriving back in Rugby by 3.15 pm.

This photo was taken in June 2008 when RNTA last visited JCB.


I wonder what their  machines will look like 15 years on!

*          *          *

Holdenby House   Northants                                                                         Wednesday, 21 June 2023

By car to arrive for 2pm

Organised by Barrie Bemand Supporter Lynne Bemand


The house is rarely open to the public being mostly used for corporate events and weddings. It has also been used for TV filming including the BBC’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Arrangements for the afternoon are that we will be divided into two groups: one to have a tour of the house while the other group explores the gardens. Then we will change round after which refreshments of tea and cakes will be provided at approx. 4.15 pm and we’ll leave about 5.30.


Getting there

The post code is NN6 8DJ. From Rugby take the A428 towards Crick and on through East Haddon. It is about 20 miles and the journey takes about 20 minutes .


It originated as a Tudor Palace build by Sir Christopher Hatton, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. It was the largest and most magnificent house in England built around two courtyards with 123 huge glass windows. It was owned by royalty until it was sold after the Civil War in 1660 to a Parliamentarian who demolished most of it, leaving a single wing. After the restoration, it was eventually sold to the Clifden family since when it has descended in the female line of the Lowther family who still live there today.

The existing wing was adapted during the 1870s by Richard Carpenter in two stages with Gothic influences. The present house is only about one eighth of the size of the original Palace.

All that remains of the Palace are two Grade II listed arches in the gardens and kitchen wing incorporated into the Victorian rebuild and a nearly identical arch bearing the date 1659 on the lawns—possibly built by Baynes, the Cromwellian owner.

*          *          *

Stonleigh Abbey                                                                                                     Thursday 6 July 2023

By car to arrive for 2pm

Organised by Barrie Bemand Supporter Lynne Bemand


We meet at 2 pm and have a guided tour of the house followed by refreshments in the Vaulted Hall. Then there will be free time to explore the gardens .


Getting there:

It is located just off the A46 on B4115. Head south from the A45/A46 junction then take the 1st exit, Warwick Art Centre/Stoneleigh exit. Turn left and after 100m turn right at crossroads signed B4115 Stoneliegh Abbey/Ashow. After 1.5 miles, the Abbey is signed as a left turn. Follow signs not Sat Nav It is about 15 miles from Rugby and the journey takes about 30-35 minutes.


It was founded in 1154 as a Cistercian Abbey. At the dissolution in 1539, it was purchased by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk but was left in a state of disrepair until purchased by Sir Thomas Leigh in 1571. The second Thomas Leigh transformed the old monastic buildings into a manor house and it was the family home of the Leigh family up to 1990.

The greatest transformation took place under the ownership of Thomas, 3rd Lord Leigh, who had been on a Grand Tour of the continent in 1710. He married a wealthy heiress and employed the architect Francis Smith of Warwick. The west wing which took 6 years to build is thought to be Smith’s greatest work. The only traces of the medieval monastic building are in the Gate House.

One of the finest rooms is the Salon with a plasterwork ceiling in the Rococo style showing the Labours of Hercules. Further fine plasterwork is in the chapel which was used by Jane Austen as her model  for Sotherton Court in her novel, Mansfield Park. Jane visited in 1806 with her mother, sister Cassandra and her mother’s cousin the Rev Thomas Leigh after he had inherited the property. Her visit inspired her to include descriptions of the interiors, grounds and cameos of the family in her novels.

In 1808, the Rev Thomas Leigh invited Humphry Repton to suggest improvements to the grounds which resulted in widening the river to create a lake in front of  the house and a reflecting pool on the south side of the property. The bridge,  designed by John Rennie, was built in 1813.

*          *          *
bottom of page