Michael Portillo resumes his tour of the Home Counties in the picturesque and historic county town of Guildford. His 1936 Bradshaw’s guide commends its ‘fine old castle keep’ and guildhall but makes no mention of its hilltop cathedral.
Michael meets head guide Janet Matthews to discover the origins of the first Anglican cathedral to be built on a new site in the south of England since the Reformation – begun in 1936. He finds splendid architecture and modern materials have combined to produce a gloriously open building full of space and light. Michael climbs its 160 foot tower for a panoramic view of Surrey.
Michael’s next stop is Chilworth, from which he follows his guide to Newlands Corner on the slopes of the North Downs. At this popular beauty spot, the famous crime writer Agatha Christie disappeared, sparking a massive search and a tabloid frenzy. A Christie biographer pieces the puzzle together for Michael.
Heading west across the county, Michael reaches the Georgian market town of Farnham with its 12th-century castle, once home to the bishops of Winchester. Intrigued by his Bradshaw’s reference to a famous Farnham painter, WH Allen, Michael joins the artist’s great-great-niece in the castle’s splendid gardens to learn more about him. A kind Farnham artist encourages Michael to commit the castle to canvas in his own way. After a luxurious night at the castle, Michael crosses into Hampshire to reach Aldershot. At the home of the British Army, he hears how in the years leading up to the World War II, the town began to receive conscripts for military training.
There are some beautiful places in England and Shaftesbury with its famous Gold Hill and Blackmore Vale view has to be one of them. Shaftesbury is in our top 10 Beautiful Places in England and we’ll take you on a walking tour of the town in this video. In addition to the beautiful view at Gold Hill, the small market town has some cute independent shops, a museum charting the history of the town including a special gallery about the Hovis Bread Advert from the 1970s that made it so famous, wonderful walks and the ancient Shaftesbury Abbey ruins built by King Alfred the Great. So join us for a lovely walk around this beautiful town.
Chapters:- 0:00 Intro 0:30 Visit Shaftesbury 1:38 Gold Hill 3:53 Gold Hill Museum 5:52 Shaftesbury Abbey
Oxford, a city in central southern England, revolves around its prestigious university, established in the 12th century. The architecture of its 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’. University College and Magdalen College are off the High Street, which runs from Carfax Tower (with city views) to the Botanic Garden on the River Cherwell.
Much of the building as it stands today was completed in 1805 by Edmund Glynn, son of American Independence supporter John Glynn, but its history is much older.
The manor was mentioned in the Domesday Book and was later home to distinguished personages such as Henry II’s Justiciar, Richard de Lucy, and perhaps most extraordinary of all the Earl of Warwick, ‘the Kingmaker’.
In the 18th century, the estate belonged to Waterloo hero Sir Hussey Vivian and, in the 1960s, to Nobel-prize winning chemist Peter Mitchell.
Brighton is a seaside resort and one of the two main areas of the city of Brighton and Hove. Located on the southern coast of England, in the county of East Sussex, it is 47 miles south of London. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods.
The Cotswolds is a rural area of south central England covering parts of 6 counties, notably Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Its rolling hills and grassland harbour thatched medieval villages, churches and stately homes built of distinctive local yellow limestone. The 102-mile Cotswold Way walking trail follows the Cotswold Edge escarpment from Bath in the south to Chipping Campden in the north.
When you take flight over Britain, you encounter more than picturesque landscapes, historical monuments, and engineering wonders. You become immersed in a world of mythical heroes, proud cultures, and thousands of years of rich history. Soar over the moorlands and cliffs of Northern and Southern England, the fairy-tale castles of Wales, and the eerie lochs of Scotland. Discover stories of remarkable people, from legends of the past to the passionate, spirited people who call Britain home today.
…Adshead Park, a striking Arts-and-Crafts-style country house set in 136 acres of formal gardens, woods and farmland in the hills above the west Berkshire village of Lower Basildon, three miles from Pangbourne and eight miles from Reading.
Adshead was the realisation of a dream for its owner, the charismatic businessman Sir John Madejski, whose ability to see ‘the bigger picture’ led to the foundation of a diverse business empire. It started with the motor classifieds magazine Auto Trader —launched with £2,000 in the 1970s and sold for £260 million in 1998 — but went on to span publishing, hotels, restaurants, radio, a top flight football team (Reading FC) and property.
Dealing with business is one thing; dealing with planning applications is another matter entirely, and it took all of Sir John’s legendary skills to negotiate the labyrinthine process required to build a new country house on virgin farmland in one of the most heavily protected areas of the Home Counties.
Away from the city, Roger escapes to his home near Poole, Dorset for what he calls an ‘analogue retreat’. To hear Roger talk about the inspirations behind the building, which resembles an up-turned boat and which is both eccentric and serene, fun and functional…
For the final instalment in this batch of our Masters of Design series, we’re paying a visit to architect Roger Zogolovitch’s boat-inspired house near Poole, Dorset – the recipient of two RIBA awards and a paragon in split-level living. Watch the film here.
Roger is the founder and creative director of Solidspace, an independent developer focused on unearthing the potential of backland gap sites rarely noticed by mainstream housebuilders. By skillfully utilising overlooked sites in the urban environment – adjacent to railroads or between and above office buildings, for instance – Roger proposes intelligent design solutions to the challenges of providing enough homes for a growing population.