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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Snowdrops at Easton Lodge

It was an open day at the Lost Gardens of Easton Lodge today.

For those who don't know was originally a Tudor Hunting Lodge destroyed by fire in 1847. It was rebuilt in 1861 in the Gothic style. The famed socialite Daisy Countess of Warwick (and mistress of Edward VII) was born there... The house was largely demolished in 1950.

The gardens were designed by Harold Peto for Daisy and were overgrown when a restoration started in 1971. The progress has been very slow but in the last few years you can see some real progress.

not sure what these are about ..... they were left there bit sad really.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Osterley Park

Where to today? Well the house at Osterley was open today so a change is as good as a rest!

The original house was built  in 1570 for Sir Thomas Gresham. Two Hundred years later the house was falling into disrepair and was remodelled by Robert Adam for Sir Francis Child.

Osterley passed in the family of the Earl's of Jersey.

George Child Villiers, 9th Earl of Jersey opened Osterley to the public in 1939 after having received many requests to see its historic interior. The Earl justified his decision by saying that it was "sufficient answer that he did not live in it and that many others wished to see it";  some 12,000 people subsequently visited the house in its first month of opening. 

During the second World War it was used for training Local Defence Volunteers.

The 9th Earl assisted the Ministry of Works and the V&A in the restoration of the house and in 1991 donated it to the National Trust.

Ironically the entrance hall of the house also appeared as a room in an upmarket central London hotel in the denouement of the 2007 ITV adaptation of At Bertram's Hotel. And as I type this that is on the telly!!!

Bird highlights were a kingfisher and a red kite!!

Next time I'll need to go later in the year when the garden is in bloom.

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