Saturday, 7 March 2015

Strawberry Hill House

Are you in the mood for a touch of Gothic?

Horace Walpole, youngest son of Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, is credited with writing the first gothic novel - The Castle of Otranto.

Strawberry Hill House
In 1747 he found Chopp'd Straw Hall on the Thames near Twickenham and, having purchased it,  decided to turn it into a little gothic castle with pinnacles, battlements and a round tower set in meadows and gardens.  The house he created - Strawberry Hill - became a tourist attraction within his lifetime, his house-keeper showing the crowds around, and has recently been restored and repaired, funded by £9 million grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other organisations.  Walpole is said to have had a dream at the house, which inspired him to write The Castle of Otranto.

I visited last year when the builders were still in the middle of the restoration, but those rooms that were complete were bright, colourful and full of interesting details.  The Guides in the rooms were able to bring the house, history and restoration to life.  Now that the remaining rooms have been finished, I am looking forward to revisiting the house and will, no doubt, enjoy another snack in the cafe.

A lot of the rooms' features take inspiration from famous buildings.

Here's the website with all the details.  Strawberry Hill station is nearby and in fact, it doesn't take too long to walk to Twickenham station either.

Dandelions in the garden looking fabulous and yellowy
Entrance to house

Window in the hallway

Original wallpaper

Copies of original chairs

The Blue Room was painted this particular colour to enhance the views outside.

Original lock

Library ceiling

Library bookshelves

The Gallery ceiling

Ceiling design taken from his friend John Chute's house - The Vyne

Great North Bedchamber

The Tribune

The Round Room

Strawberry motif on gates

Now I've popped this on the blog, I can't wait to pay Strawberry Hill another visit!

update new visit

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