Category Archives: Architecture
I’m pleased to finally say that after 4 years Leith Hall has now re-opened! Some of you may remember I did manage to visit before the closure and found it a lovely little treasure house. Sadly, it has not been able to open until now.
Massive improvements have been made in the house, tea-room and garden and the Hall opened to the public for the first time on Friday, the main celebration happening yesterday (Sunday).
Do pop along to show your support and see all the good work that’s been done. I’m off to see it as soon as I can – when I last saw it I was helping to pack the collection away for the imminent building works…
It was so good to get back to London for a week!
I managed to see awesome members of family and fabulous friends to catch up and check out what they had been up to (my Aunt has taken to making awesome gemstone jewellery, which I’ll share some pictures of later as I bought some of her unique pieces).
Good people, good food – caught up with one of my fabulous fellow writers from Tuscany, AND I managed lots of revisits, sightseeing and shopping!
Places included –
- National Gallery
- National Portrait Gallery
- Tate Britain
- Westminster Abbey
- Sir John Soane Museum
- British Museum
- Apsley House
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Hyde Park
- City of London
Here are a few highlights:
I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!
The art collection once belonging to Britain’s first Prime Minister Robert Walpole is on a visit back from The Hermitage in Russia for the first time since Catherine the Great bought it after his death more than 250 years ago.
I am hoping to get down there in July to see it at Houghton Hall, and will let you know if I do.
Anyone else excited?
You can read more about it and the hall here.
Am working on some new posts and reviews, but am a little brain dead from work and study at the moment.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share the amazing watercolour my friend Elinor made for me of my favourite house Audley End. Audley is now in the care of English Heritage, so do go and visit it!
Talking of houses, I visited Bolsover Castle some years ago now. Did anyone else watch the programme on it and its owners this week with Lucy Worsley?
Here is my lovely gift – please don’t use this image without permission:
Not a house that I’d particularly heard about before, but a friend suggested we go over for the Open Day tour to Hospitalfield House, Arbroath.
Before we went to the main house however, we stopped off at the Fraser family, later Allan-Fraser mausoleum (or mortuary chapel), which is in the Western Cemetery and not too far away. Let me tell you it is an astounding place! I’ve seen a few mausoleums, mostly in pictures – but never anything like this. Built in the neo-Gothic style it has a frankly strange mixture of architectural styles and looks large enough for the average family to live in. A must visit – especially on Doors Open Day, which is normally September time where you can actually go inside. Maybe I’ll do that next year.
Hospitalfield House itself, as the name suggests, was actually built originally as a hospice run by monks from Arbroath Abbey (which you can also visit the ruins of). In the Seventeenth century however, it was bought by the Fraser family and from then on until the late nineteenth century was used as a family home.
When viewing the house now, it retains much of its Victorian décor – which it owes to its’ final owners the Allan-Frasers, also its art collection. Patrick Allan, later adopting the name Allan-Fraser – having no children – Patrick and his wife Elizabeth Fraser decided that if Patrick outlived her, he would leave the house in a trust to provide young people with training in art.
This happened in 1890, and though much of the original estates have been swallowed up to continue the trust’s work – Hospitalfield continues with this work to this day.
You can study and attend events at Hospitalfield House, and do think about booking for the next Open Day.