Thursday, 5 November 2015

STRAWBERRY HILL ..... Georgian Gothic Revival ..... AMAZING !!

I am turning into the London Tourist Board !!!! ..... but, I HAVE to show you this wonderful Georgian Gothic Revival house in Twickenham that we visited on Monday. I think that it's one of the best houses I have seen ..... I could live there !! I have spared you ALL of the photographs that I took  .....  you would have been here all day !!


Horace Walpole { 1717-1797 } discovered ' Chopp'd Straw Hall ' in 1747 when it was one of the last remaining sites available on the banks of the Thames in fashionable Twickenham.


He set about transforming, what was then a couple of cottages, into his ' little Gothic castle ' with pinnacles, battlements and a round tower set in meadows and gardens with ' cows and sheep studied for becoming the view '. In creating Strawberry Hill, Walpole inspired a new fashion for Gothic in both architecture and literature. 


Walpole's guests would enter the house into a dark hall, lit by one candle in the lantern. He did this purposely and would guide them through winding corridors and gloomy passageways which suddenly opened into the sudden splendour of rooms as you will see in the following photographs.



I loved the hall and would have it in my own home if I could ..... the colours are so ' now ' aren't they ?



The first room was the refectory .....




..... then, the library. Unfortunately, there was an exhibition of sculptures which, I think, detracted from the beautiful rooms !!





While houses like nearby Marble Hill were based on classic traditions, Walpole chose the architecture of Gothic cathedrals as the inspiration for his villa. Chimney pieces, doors and ceilings are based on Gothic vaulting, medieval tombs and rose windows..... he was a man way ahead of his time I think.


The Gallery ..... ' all Gothicism, gold and looking glass " as the poet Thomas Gray described it.

















This room is where Walpole kept his treasures of art, miniatures and priceless objects to show his friends. Unfortunately, much of these were sold in a house sale and are spread across the world. I have edited out an awful sculpture of a full size hessian kangaroo with boxing gloves on that was placed right in the centre of the room ..... the guide said that the exhibition, which was finishing the following day, had been rather controversial !! 



Here's a ghostly one of me hiding behind an 18th century dress !!

The castle became a tourist attraction in Walpole's lifetime. He allowed four visitors a day and published rules for their guidance { no children allowed !! } His housekeeper frequently showed them round while Walpole retired to his cottage in the grounds. Reopened to the public in 2010 after a £9 million restoration, today's visitors have the opportunity to explore this unique heritage site.


Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford also known as Horace Walpole, was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician, built Strawberry Hill House, reviving the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors ..... I think that I would have liked him !! 







All images by me

Jackie

42 comments:

  1. It's certainly unique... some of the lighter colours do go well with the gold and the plasterwork. Glad it wasn't me who had to paint it though!

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    1. Haha ... how true Jessica !! The colours were completely authentic, found in original paintings and descriptions in his many letters. XXXX

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  2. Simply unbelievable. Nothing like it across the pond. I do believe I saw your ghost in the mirror.

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    1. Isn't it brilliant Donna ? .....and, I think tt there are a couple of ghostly Jackie's in there !! XXXX

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  3. Those sculptures on the floor are just a wee bit creepy lol But those ceilings ! Wonderful !
    Thank you for your comment .. besos ...

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    1. Some of the sculptures were even creepier !! It was a shame that they were there really as they had nothing to do with the house and spoilt it a bit. XXXX

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  4. There's a beautiful example just by one of our Brighton houses. I think it's called The Alms Houses, and I thought it was your first photo; very similar. I wonder if the interiors are at all similar.

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    1. I've remembered now, it's called Wykeham Terrace.... have a quick look on Google images.

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    2. Oh Cro ..... they are so similar aren't they but built so much later ? The architect must have been influenced by Strawberry Hill. I did think that it had a bit of the Brighton Pavillion about it. XXXX

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  5. What a beautiful post....i enjoy to see all those beauty !...❤️love Ria x

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    1. Thanks Ria ..... it's lovely isn't it ? XXXX

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  6. It is gorgeous. I could not live in walls of purple or red though. Downton Abbey (the show) has a lot of dark red walls in rooms and They make me feel so uncomfortable.

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    1. I know what you mean Kerrie but somehow it always looks right in these great houses. XXXX

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  7. It is stunning. Thanks for sharing. I must add this to my to visit list. I hadn't realised it even existed. Exquisite even for a stately home

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    1. It didn't feel like a Stately home at all Anna ...... it wasn't at all traditional ..... lots of it felt quite modern. He had such wonderful ideas for the time. XXXX

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  8. Having read Cro's comment and being on doorstep of Brighton i need to add Wykeham too. Obviously Brighton pavilion has been done when we have visitors. It's always fun to impress with our local palace.

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    1. I hadn't heard of it until a few weeks ago either Anna. It is so worth a visit.
      I absolutely LOVE Brighton Pavilion and have done since a child. It is always a jaw dropping moment when I see it. I have been quite a few times as my sister lives in Horsham and we often pop into Brighton when I visit her. Strawberry Hill really reminded me of Brighton Pavillion and now Wykeham too. They must have been influenced by Strawberry Hill as it was built much earlier. XXXX

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  9. My favourite style of design!
    What a wonderful place. I would have been sorely tempted to snatch one of those mirrors, though!

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    1. You must visit it when next in London Pamela. I think that it's right up your street. XXXX

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  10. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing Jackie.xx

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    1. Deb, it really as fantastic...... and, Horace Walpole sounded like a really interesting man. XXXX

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  11. What a fascinating place - I never knew this existed - what a treat for you. I particularly like the dark blue room with the arched windows - lovely. Such a lot of history there - if only it could speak and tell tales of all the goings-on.

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    1. I had never heard of it either Elaine. The room with the arched windows was his bedroom and the four poster bed looked so modern ...... like something out of Ikea !!!!! XXXX

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  12. What an absolutely beautiful place it is Jackie. Couldn't be more gothic! I enjoyed seeing you in the photo too :-)

    Have a great weekend!

    Madelief x

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    1. You would love it Madelief ..... perhaps it should go on your ' to visit ' list !!
      Hope that you're having better weather than we are this weekend ...... it's pouring with rain here !! XXXX

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  13. STUNNING . . .
    Absolutely!
    Love your photos, would enjoy seeing in person too . . . and "peeks" of you were delightful!

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    1. It really was ' stunning ' Lynne. You would never have known that it was an 18 century house. XXXX

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  14. Fantastic, Jackie - thanks for sharing this with us. Those ceilings are absolutely stunning!
    (Not sure why I didn't see your post when you first posted this - I'm late to the party!)

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    1. I'm very often late for the party Carol !!! I loved Strawberry Hill ..... it was so different from most houses of that age and a joy to visit. XXXX

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  15. I'm definitely late to the party too but these photos are fabulous! We were just in London when you posted it but we were so busy with all the sporting events we went to that I didn't see it then! We had wonderful weather while in London too - cool enough to wear a jacket and scarf! Lots of love to you and Mr H!! xxoo

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    1. Hi Cathi,
      Sound's as if you had a lovely { and busy !! } time in London , as always. It's always so hard to fit everything in, isn't it ? Definitely cooler here now but, I love it as I can wear my coats, jackets and boots now.
      Love to Alex ... and you of course !! XXXX

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  16. AMAZING!!! Wow, What history and what beauty Jackie. If you move in, do you think I could have a room of my own? This place is so lovely. I would have to get my neck worked on every week if I lived here, just look at those ceilings!!!

    sending hugs to you my dear!!!

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  17. AMAZING!!! Wow, What history and what beauty Jackie. If you move in, do you think I could have a room of my own? This place is so lovely. I would have to get my neck worked on every week if I lived here, just look at those ceilings!!!

    sending hugs to you my dear!!!

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  18. You may choose whatever room you like June !!!
    When you think that he built that house in the 1700's ..... it was so far ahead of it's time.
    Sending hugs back June. XXXX

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  19. Jackie, Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic home.
    I love the ceilings and those bookcases. This is a very intriguing house.
    Did he have any children, sounds like he wasn't tuned into kids. I'll tell Renee
    to visit you. She has been so involved in this cottage, now between new woodwork,
    her Hubby Dave is painting the outside.Well I'll have my first Thanksgiving in
    their new home. Love and be well...yvonne

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    1. Hi Yvonne,
      Glad you liked the house, it is intriguing, isn't it ? He didn't have any children ... he never married.
      I am sure that you are looking forward to Thanksgiving in Renée and David's new home .... I am so pleased for them.
      Much love to you and look after yourself. XXXX

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  20. On the more elequent side of your last posting of Poo and Wee this post makes me dream a life living in such grandeur and I would of have to have agreed! NO Children allowed....à Bit of a Cheeky fellow would you not agree? :)
    As for you photo bombing the white dress the Ghostly appearance of you is so fitting.
    I like the fire surrounds they have such a presence about how them so shrine like and they inspire my art in Cartapesta, if only I could do such justice on what inspires here.

    It's amazing that you can travel such places of history and history is at reach for you, we here in Ca. The U.S have the Hollywood sign, and old Hollywood a few museums, and landmark historical places of interest but nothing like international history in your castles and lands.
    A visit for me will be of great joy, I may never want to go home.

    Thank you dear for sharing your beauty and authentic history here, you inspire in numbers.
    I hope to see a bit more of your home life and designs this winter holiday in your decor style.

    Thank you again for gracing your beauty over at my place, see you soon.

    Xx
    Bisous

    Doré

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  21. I think that he probably was a bit of a cheeky fellow Dore !!!
    I am very lucky that London is only 20 minutes away. I think that, wherever you live in the UK, there is probably a Stately home or Grand house not very far away !!
    Also, my blog has gone a bit off track. It was mostly about interiors and I promise to get back to that side of things soon !!!!
    Sending love from the UK. XXXX

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  22. Jackie ~ what stunning pictures! This place is beautiful. xo

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  23. Astounding. Simply astounding.

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