For my birthday back in May we paid a visit to Burghley House and Gardens (the Garden of Surprises and the Sculpture Garden will feature in future posts). Built to impress, the house was the work of William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley and Treasurer to Elizabeth I and is still home to his descendants today.Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: architecture
St Leonard’s is the parish church of Rockingham Village and sits just below the walls of the castle – it is open to visitors on days when the castle is open to the public. There was probably a chapel inside the castle in the 11th century and in the 15th century a church on the site of the present building was destroyed in the Civil War; the present church dates to 1650.Continue reading
A Grade II listed building Exchange Flags is an office complex and restaurant space in the centre of Liverpool’s commercial district. The name of the building reflects the city’s history in regards to slavery – cotton traders and brokers would meet here to do their buying and selling and exchange a form of business card, hence the name.Continue reading
George John Vulliamy, the superintending architect of the Metropolitan Board of Water, created these electric lamps that stretch along the Thames in 1870. Although they are referred to as dolphins – possibly because they are supposed to be modelled on dolphin sculptures that are part of the Fontana del Nettuno in Rome – they are actually sturgeons.Continue reading
After our visit to Canons Ashby we were looking for somewhere to visit to break up our drive back to Nottingham and decided that Rockingham Castle was the perfect choice. It’s still a family home and is only open on certain afternoons throughout the year, so always check the website and pre-book tickets (adult £14.00) if you plan to visit. It’s also worth noting that photography is not allowed inside the building itself.Continue reading
MOSTYN Art Gallery – the building on the right in the below picture – is a contemporary art gallery in Llandudno, Wales. The history of the gallery begins in 1895 in Conwy with the Gwynedd Ladies’ Art Society. They asked the philanthropist and photographer Lady Augusta Mostyn to secure new premises for them and this building became the home of the society from 1901 to 1903. Women were not permitted in the male artist’s societies so this is possibly the first art gallery dedicated to exclusively exhibiting work by female artists in the world. Interestingly that wasn’t the original intention of Lady Augusta who wanted it to be a space for local people to use (many of the Society members were actually based elsewhere in the UK) and eventually the Society was asked to leave.Continue reading
Canons Ashby Priory was an Augustinian priory founded in 1147. The priory was built in stone in 1253 and the unusual colour of the outside is because of the use of three different types of stone. The addition of the tower in 1350 demonstrates the wealth of the priory; funds for it were largely raised by charging locals for the use of a well on their land.Continue reading
Representing Boadicea (or Boudica or Boudicca or any other manner of spellings), the queen of a British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the Romans in AD 60-61, this sculpture can be found by Westminster Bridge opposite Big Ben. It was created by Thomas Thornycroft with help from his son William and was commissioned in the 1850s but not completed until 1898, over ten years after the sculptor had died. It was installed at the bridge in 1902.
This striking clock in Colwyn Bay was presented to the town by Andrew Fraser’s parents in 1989. Andrew was a musician who played violin in the Welsh National Youth Orchestra. He died in Brussels in 1984 at the age of 33.Continue reading
Canons Ashby is a National Trust property in Northamptonshire that we visited over the early May Bank Holiday. I’m splitting the visits into three sections with posts on the gardens and the church to follow in the coming weeks. Ashby is an old word for farmstead so Canons Ashby (note no apostrophe) literally means the farmstead of the canons (priests) from the Augustinian priory that was established in the mid-12th century. Over the years the Black Death and Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries lead to the area falling into disrepair until the remains of the building were bought first by Sir Francis Bryan in 1537 and then a year later by Sir John Cope.
In the 16th century Sir John Cope gave the estate to his son-in-law John Dryden and using masonry from the old priory buildings built the distinctive tower part of the building. The Dryden’s continued to live in the house for the next 400 years, adding and removing bits of the interiors and exteriors which has left it with a rather interesting shape where some of the rooms aren’t really aligned.
The house came under National Trust control in 1981 when parts of the building were close to collapse. They did a significant amount of work to preserve the building and uncovered some real gems that previous generations had covered up. One such discovery was that of an 18th century painted mural depicting scenes from the Bible that had been covered by panelling.
One room in particular with unexpected grandeur was that of the drawing room. Not only does it contain an amazing fireplace but also an impressively decorated plaster ceiling – the drop pendant in the middle would have been where a chandelier was hung.
It’s an interesting place to visit especially to see the way improvements and changes to the house have shaped its appearance today. You can find more photos here.