Tag Archives: England

Home Tours: Kelmscott Manor In The Cotswolds

The architecture of Kelmscott Manor is woven into William Morris’s 1890 novel, News from Nowhere, in which a journey exploring utopian ideals in a post-industrial world leads, after much wandering, to a ‘many-gabled old house built by the simple country-folk of the long-past times’. There is no ‘extravagant love of ornament’ here, only a feeling that ‘the house itself and its associations was the ornament of the country life amidst which it had been left stranded from old times’. It is a poignant vision that underlines both a respect for the past and an ideal of a new society based on mutual interest and support.

Jeremy Musson, May 15, 2022

Today, this old stone-built farm house is best known as the Morrises’ country home, from 1871. First leased as a retreat from busy London life, it became a vital point of reference for Morris, as artist, designer and poet; it was his ‘Heaven on Earth’, and a source of profound emotional and artistic inspiration.

Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire

Fig 2: The first-floor Tapestry Room, with a carved 1660s chimneypiece, is hung with a late-17th-century Oudenarde tapestry. Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire. ©Paul Highnam for Country Life

English Country Homes: The Abington ‘Hunting’ Lodge On River Granta

Nestled in a private corner of the award-winning village of Great Abington is Abington Lodge: Where over 19 acres of gardens and grounds meet with elegant interiors and wonderful ancillary accommodation.

It’s hard to tell what’s best about Grade II-listed Abington Lodge, in Great Abington —whether the idyllic setting in a little more than 19 acres of parkland and paddocks coursed by the River Granta, the 8,600sq ft interior with magnificent spiral staircase and floor-to-ceiling sash windows or the intriguing history: the house was once a hunting lodge for Richard, Earl of Grosvenor, whose wife scandalised Georgian Britain for her relationship with the Duke of Cumberland.

Abington Lodge, which is currently on the market via Cheffins with a guide price of £3.5 million, has eight bedrooms in the main building, and also comes with a two-bedroom coach house, two self-contained apartments, a striking indoor pool and a stable block.

1950’s British Racing: A V16 At BRMA Track Day (2022)

A BRM V16 at the 2022 BRMA Track Day, held at Blyton Park.

1950s

The V16 is very much still in development and despite Raymond Mays protestations, the V16 makes its racing debut at Silverstone in 1950 in front of a record crowd of over 150,000 and Their Majesties the King and Queen. The V16 shears a driveshaft and the Alfas dominate. It is later established that it failed due to the steel not being to specification. The Trust sells BRM to Sir Alfred Owen (the great Midlands industrialist) in 1952. Regulations are changed to F2 rules (2 litre un-supercharged) leaving the V16 with no long term Formula One race prospects just as its development was providing positive results on the track. Parnell wins the Goodwood Trophy in the V16. The last of the front engine BRMs and the birth of the new P25 with a 2.5 litre straight 4-cylinder engine. The P25 was to herald a change in BRM’s fortunes with Jo Bonnier winning their first Grand Prix at Zandvoort in 1959.

English Architecture: Arts And Crafts Willards Farm In Surrey & Sussex

The older farmhouses scattered across rural, deeply wooded areas on the Surrey and Sussex border have lost nothing of their appeal in the 21st century. Willards Farm, near Dunsfold, has recently been subject to sympathetic renovation and substantial extension. At its core, the house is a four-bay, 16th-century timber-frame house of two storeys, under a clay-tile roof, with a substantial off-centre chimney stack. It occupies an elevated site and was extended to its northern end in the 1930s and to the south in the 1980s. The latest works, completed in 2019, were imaginatively designed by architect Stuart Martin for a young family.

The brick walls enclosing the pool house create the impression of a traditional farmstead enclosure and the tiled coping echoes the treatment of a Lutyens pergola at Pasture Wood, Dorking, of about 1912. One angle of the walls is resolved with a fine dovecote and ceramic decoration of the pool by Craig Bragdy means that it resembles an ornamental pond.

Willards Farm

Willards Farm, Surrey. ©Paul Highnam for Country Life

New English Travel Books: ‘Deepest Somerset’ (2022)

Deepest Somerset off the presses

THE third book in our series, Deepest Somerset, is on its way to you.  It was printed at Blackmore in Shaftesbury on the last weekend in August, and is now at the bindery, where the cover, again featuring a wood engraving by Howard Phipps, will be joined to the pages.

Cotswolds Views: Weavers Mill House Near Painswick

Located amongst the rolling valleys of Pitchcombe and within walking distance of the pretty village of Painswick, is Weavers Mill: A lovely family home with truly breathtaking gardens that lies on the Painswick stream. 

From its heyday as a mill, Weavers Mill, in Pitchcombe, has kept intact its original waterwheel and bucolic setting. It comes with beautiful gardens of about one acre, bordered by a stream, and another eight acres of grazing land with spring-fed pond.

The gardens extend both banks of the stream, interjected by bridges and peaceful corners that can be reached by rowing boat, including a small island flanked by a palm tree, providing the most idyllic setting.

The first floor reception rooms make the most of the delightful views, with the breakfast room and connecting conservatory opening up to the glorious gardens. The house also has a range of outbuildings including two garages, sheds and further storage units towards the far end of the grounds.

Food: Sourcing Local Fish In Southwest England

The war in Ukraine has hit the supply of grains and vegetable oils, while around 70% of the world’s cod and haddock comes from Russian boats. Global food prices are soaring and some restaurateurs fear a plate of cod and chips could rise to £20. The FT’s Daniel Garrahan and food writer and restaurateur Tim Hayward travel to England’s south west coast to see how two restaurants which source local, sustainable fish are coping with inflationary pressures.

Filmed by Petros Gioumpasis and Richard Topping. Edited by Richard Topping. Produced by Daniel Garrahan and Tim Hayward.

River Walks: The Thames Path In London, England

Walking in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames along the Thames Path, on a beautiful spring day, from Kew Railway Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge. This peaceful, nature-filled walk runs alongside the River Thames with picturesque views and birdsong along the way.

Sights seen include: Kew Railway Bridge, views towards Chiswick riverside, rowing practice on the River Thames, Kew Riverside, Putney Town Rowing Club, Chiswick Bridge, Thames Bank, The Ship pub, Stag Brewery Building, White Hart Barnes pub, Barnes riverside properties along The Terrace & Lonsdale Road, Barnes Bridge, The Waterman’s Arms pub, The Bulls Head pub, Leg O Mutton Path, views towards Chiswick Mall riverside, Chiswick Eyot, Boat House, and Hammersmith Bridge.

Timelapse Film: Greenwich In London, England (4K)

Greenwich is a borough in London, England, on the banks of the River Thames. Known for its maritime history, it’s home to the Cutty Sark, a restored 19th-century ship, the huge National Maritime Museum, and the classical buildings of the Old Royal Naval College. The modern O2 arena sits on a peninsula to the north. Overlooking peaceful Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory is the site of the Greenwich meridian line. 

Tours: Highclere Castle Of ‘Downton Abbey’ Fame

Downton Abbey has become THE British cult series. The story about the fate of a noble family and their servants at the beginning of the 20th century in Yorkshire, England, is even set in a real palace: Highclere Castle. There aren’t servants anymore, but it still has a countess. The lady of the house takes us on an exclusive tour of the castle where Downton Abbey has been shot. Some of the locations may look familiar, especially since the second film is now being released after six successful seasons on TV.

Highclere Castle is a Grade I listed country house built in 1679 and largely renovated in the 1840s, with a park designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century. The 5,000-acre estate is in Highclere in Hampshire, England, about 5 miles south of Newbury, Berkshire, and 9.5 miles north of Andover, Hampshire.