Category: England

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Marble Hill House is located in the town of Twickenham in London, England. The Palladian villa was built between 1724-1729 on 66 acres of riverside parkland on the Thames near Richmond. The house sits on the northwest bank and is surrounded by a meticulously designed landscape that once included cornfields, meadows, fruit trees, and kitchen gardens. The house was built as a retreat from court life for Henrietta Howard, the mistress of King George II when he was the Prince of Wales. Henrietta had a turbulent childhood, an abusive first marriage, served as a royal servant for twenty years under Princess Caroline, and was the Prince of Wales mistress. The property was a gift from the prince along with some stocks, jewelry, furniture, and more. Henrietta married her second husband, the MP George Berkeley in 1735. Marble Hill House became a place for London’s cultural and political elite to congregate. Through many owners and a succession of tenants, Marble Hill underwent changes. In the mid-19thcentury, Jonathon Peel had a stable block built for racehorses when he became owner, but the Peels also rented out the property to some well-known politicians. In 1887, the widow Lady Peel died and the estate was put up for auction. In 1898, after ten years of vacancy, the Cunard Family purchased Marble Hill. William Cunard had roads and a sewer system installed to ready the property for development. In 1902, the house and estate were saved from development by an Act of Parliament, which was done to prevent new dwellings from blocking the famous view from Richmond Hill. Marble Hill was purchased with contributions from private donors and local authorities and became a public park in 1903. In 1986, Marble Hill passed into the care of the English Heritage. Marble Hill House boasts grand interiors, early Georgian paintings, and hand-painted Chinese wallpapers in the dining room. The house has been altered to provide visitor facilities, which includes a kitchen, a tearoom, and changing rooms. Marble Hill is usually opened to the public, but the house is currently closed for renovations, while the parkland and sports facilities are still open. Sports such as tug of war, football, rugby, hockey, and cricket have been played at the park.

Edmondsham House is located in Dorset, England. The Tudor manor with Georgian additions was built in 1598 for Thomas Hussey, although there are family deeds from this site that date back to 1392. The home sits on six acres filled with colorful gardens, a 17thcentury walled kitchen garden, topiary sculptures, and rare trees. There’s also a small 12thcentury parish church of St. Nicholas, a Victorian stable block, a village pump, and an octagonal dairy on the property. The two wings were added to the structure in the mid 18thcentury. In 1837, the brickwork in the front of the home was remodeled in stucco. The three-story home has been owned by the Edmondsham family for over 400 years. Edmondsham House is open to the public. 

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Apsley House is located in London, England. The London townhouse was built in the 1770s for Lord Chancellor Henry, 1stBaron Apsley, and was eventually purchased by Arthur Wellesley, the 1stDuke of Wellington in 1817. Wellington’s 1815 victory in the Battle of Waterloo is celebrated with arches and statues, including the bronze Achilles statue, which all serve as memorials to the duke. The Georgian building sits on the southeast corner of Hyde Park. The original house still exists beneath the buildings stone encasement and extensions. Wellington expanded the house in two phases. He added a three-story extension to the northeast section in 1819, which included a State Dining Room, along with new bedrooms and a dressing room. Wellington became Prime Minister in 1828 and the next phase of building began, which included a new staircase and the Waterloo Gallery. Wellington’s art collection is impressive and displayed in the gallery and museum room. The collection includes 3,000 fine paintings, sculpture, silver, porcelain, swords, and more. The paintings include masterpieces by Rubens, Goya, Van Dyke, Brueghel, and many others. Wellington died in 1852 and his son Arthur opened Apsley House to the public. It was the 7thDuke who offered Apsley house to the nation. The Wellington Museum Act was signed in 1947 and part of the house was converted into a museum. In 1952, electric lighting was installed. In 1961-62 the east façade was covered in bath stone and a public underpass was constructed. Apsley House displays Regency interiors, which includes white and gold paneling, fake marble finishes called scagliola, and scrolling ironwork. Apsley House is open to the public and serves as a museum. 

Bodiam Castle is a 14th century moated castle located in East Sussex, England. Sir Edward Dalyngrigge built the fortress in 1385. Dalyngrigge designed the castle to defend against a French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. The castle is a quadrangular design with the chambers located on the outer walls and inner courts. The towers at each of the entryways and corners served as lookout posts. Unlike the majority of castles, Bodiam castle does not hold a keep. The moat once served as a sewer system for the castle’s thirty toilets, so although it was pretty, it didn’t smell nice. The castle passed to the Lewknor family through marriage, but was sold in 1641 by then owner Lord Thanet. Once purchased the castle was dismantled and fell into ruin. The castle was purchased in 1829 by John Fuller who began restorations. The next two owners, George Cubitt and Lord Curzon, did further restoration work. Upon his death in 1925, Lord Curzon donated the castle to The National Trust. The castle is one of England’s most beloved castles with its impressive three-story towers and broad moat. The castle boasts gun loops, a static bridge, curtain walls, and machicolations that were used to throw objects and substances at invaders. Although the exterior is extraordinary, the interior is in ruins. Bodiam Castle is open to the public. There is a tearoom, gift shop, and second hand bookstore for visitors.

Bramham Park is located in Bramham in Yorkshire, England. Robert Benson, 1st Lord of Bingley, built the country house in the 17th century. The architect designed the house in the style of a 16thcentury Florentine villa. The castle has a central block and is linked to the wings by colonnades. One wing held the kitchen and the other the chapel, symbolizing the balance needed in body and spirit. The central hall is two stories and is done in a Baroque design. Bramham House suffered a fire in 1828 and was abandoned for 80 years. The house remains in the Benson family and was completely restored in the 20thcentury. Bingley is also responsible for laying out the extensive gardens, which cover 900 acres and are divided by avenues, and follies styled like Greek temples. Bramham Estate is home to the Leeds Festival, the International Horse Trials, and other events. Bramham Estate is open to the public. 

Bamburgh Castle is located in the village of Bamburgh in the county of Northumberland, England. The 6th century kings of Northumbria choose Bamburgh as their royal capital. The castle is located 150 feet above the coastline and is connected to the North Sea by a natural harbor. In the 11th century, the Normans built a new castle on the site, which forms the core of the present one. Bamburgh became the property of King Henry II in the 12th century when it served as an outpost. Northumbria has a history of being invaded by rival kingdoms and served as an important border garrison. Bamburgh served as a palace for monarchs for many centuries and hosted kings and prisoners. In 1610, the castle was gifted by King James I to Claudius Forster, but unable to afford the upkeep, the castle fell into ruin. The bankrupt estate and deteriorated castle and was restored by the Crewe Trustees. The castle has served as a pharmacy, an outpatient surgery center, a hospital, and a free school for the underprivileged. Trustee, Dr. Sharp, turned the castle into a coastguard station, but the castle still suffered financial difficulties and was put on the real estate market. Bamburgh was purchased by Engineer, William George Armstrong in 1894. Armstrong transformed and renovated the castle, which boasts artwork and ceramics, but unfortunately, he never saw the castle’s final transformation. Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country and remains in the Armstrong family holdings. The castle has a king’s hall, State Rooms, a keep, an armory, Victorian stables, a library, a dungeon, and museums of Architecture and Aviation. Bamburgh Castle hosts weddings, events, and has self-catering holiday accommodations. Bamburgh Castle is open to the public and has two cafes.