Here is Hopetoun House, home of the Hope family, the Marquesses of Linlithgow, just north of Edinburgh. The left view below shows the main structure of the house; in the center photo, the aerial view above the entrance; on the right, an aerial photo looking south, which shows the Forth Bridges at the top left of the photo, and the "back" or older section of the house, the West Front. Remember please to click on the small photos to expand their size.
Below, shots of the three bridges which cross the Forth River to join North Queensferry with South Queensferry as the river flows into the Firth of Forth and eventually to the North Sea. Firth is a version if the word Fjord, a glacial basin.
The Hope family arrived in this location in the 17th century, operating lead mines in the area. The first section of the present house was built for the Hopes in 1699-1701 by Sir William Bruce, a gentleman-architect who is responsible for many notable houses in Scotland. Just two decades later in 1721, Charles Hope, 1st Earl of Hopetoun (1681-1742) hired William Adam to enlarge and remodel the house. Below is a plan showing the older sections in tan and the Adam-designed portions outlined in black. Adam's two sons, John and Robert, completed the interior decoration in the style for which they are historically renowned.
The pictures in this and the next post were taken by me and/or my companions at Hopetoun House in September, 2019, unless otherwise noted. Below left, the entrance gate; the shrubbery walk from the car park to the house; right, we approach the first of the pavilions, at the south, passing the ha-ha.
Above, left, is the ballroom in the south pavilion, often in use for weddings. In its anteroom, center and right, are some of those animal heads you so often see in these country homes. In the 21st century, they are certainly distasteful to us, but no doubt reflect the values of previous centuries of aristocrats who thought of the hunt of now-endangered species as sport.
Other sections of the southern wing are occupied by the current family of Hopes.
The hall, pictured above from the Hopetoun House website, was part of the Bruce house, altered by the Adams. Above the fireplace and at left below is a portrait of John Adrian Louis, 7th Earl of Hopetoun and 1st Marquess of Linlithgow (1860-1908), by artist Robert Brough. At right below, a bust of the Duke of Wellington by Sculptor Thomas Campbell, c. 1827, which stands beside the fireplace.
According to the Hopetoun House Guidebook, "The staircase is one of the chief decorative features of the Bruce house. The pine-panelled walls, frieze, cornice, and panel borders were carved with flowers, fruit, wheatears, and peapods by Alexander Eizat, a Scottish woodcarver..."
The Garden Room, below, has a view of the lawn and pool. Center, the clock is a musical automaton made by Jan Henkels of Amsterdam about 1730. On the right, a portrait of John, 4th Earl of Hopetoun, painted by Sir John Watson Gordon.
Above, the State Bedchamber, created by architect Bruce for the young 1st Earl of Hopetoun. Below, the shelves of deed boxes in the Charter Room, built to be fireproof to protect the family records.
The libraries combined several smaller rooms to house the ever-growing collections of the Hope family.
The very tempting rows of old volumes, left; center, a portrait of the Ladies Jemma and Lucy Hope, daughters of the 3rd Earl, painted by David Allan, c. 1782; right, model of the house. Lower row, various details of the libraries.
Below, though mostly decorated in shades of green, the White Bedchamber carries its name from an earlier incarnation. below left, the Pattern Chair by James Cullen, c.1760; center, a Dutch walnut commode with floral marquetry from the mid 18th c.; Verdure tapestries from Antwerp studios in the 17th c.
The final room still 'more or less' remaining from the Bruce house is the West Bedchamber with its Anteroom.
Below, the recreated Bed Hangings were made by textile volunteers in 1990; the Flemish tapestries are from a series on the months of the year; Oak cradle, undated.
Next time, the State Apartments and East Pavilion.
Here's a shot of the National Gallery from the Edinburgh Festival site -- I tried to take a similar image but the sun was right behind the Gallery and -- it was a dreadful pic. So I turned to the web. Thanks!! The rest of the pics are mine, the good, the bad, and the crooked!
If you enter and turn left, you will begin at the chronological start of the collection, with altarpieces and paintings from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I was particularly taken with the Titian (below) "Diana and Callisto" from 1556-59, which so clearly recalled my visit to Venice a year before.
I hastened on to visit some of my favorite Scottish and English painters from the 18th and 19th centuries. Always a favorite is Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823). Below, his painting c. 1795 "The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddington Loch," definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Below, Raeburn's portrait of Margaritta Macdonald, Mrs. Robert Scott Moncrieff (died 1824), painted in 1814. The Gallery says its "heightened romanticism, sensibility, and sensuality have endowed its iconic status" in the collection.
Below, portraits. Left, The Ladies Waldegrave, 1780, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792); center, The Honorable Mrs. Graham, 1777, by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788); right, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, 1892, by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Click on the pictures for larger versions.
Below, Sir William Allan's 1833 painting of The Murder of David Rizzio, showing Mary Queen of Scots at the assassination of her Italian secretary in 1566. Mary's tragic life is a frequent subject of Scottish artists.
This glorious 1867 view of 'Niagara Falls from the American Side' is said to be the only painting in Europe by American artist Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), famed as one of the original members of the Hudson River School of American landscape painters.
Two charming portraits of Scottish boys with their dogs by Sir Henry Raeburn were recently acquired by the Gallery. Below, left, is William Stuart Forbes (1802-26) in 1809; right, his younger brother John Stuart Hepburn Forbes (1804-1866) in 1812; John inherited the family title and fortune after William died at age 24.
Prominent Scottish artist Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841) portrayed 'General Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo Sahib after Having Captured Seringapatam in the 4th May, 1799.'
Though I am leaving out many excellent paintings I loved, I will close with the great work that perfectly depicts Scotland in the mind of many of us: 'The Monarch of the Glen' painted by Sir Edwin Landseer about 1851.
Next, heading north...
SCOTLAND...the image of rugged strength combined with intellectual brilliance and magnificent castles and rococo salons...I could enthuse on for paragraphs to detail the dreams and metaphors in my mind. With all these ideas spinning in my head, I went forth for my first excursion north of Edinburgh.
Above, the scenic inspiration...I've wanted to explore Scotland for many many years...but on previous visits to Britain, I was so fascinated by the Borders region and Edinbburgh that I never actually made it farther toward the Highlands. But joining Kristine Hughes Patrone and her group from Number One London Tours, I finally got my chance. In the next few weeks, I will bring you some of my pictures and experiences from my trip in September 2019.
We arrived via Waverley Station, the world's only railroad station named for a novel, Sir Walter Scott's Waverley, written in 1814. We gathered at the lovely boutique Hotel No. Eleven, in Brunswick Street. The next day I went to Edinburgh Castle, another spot that I had never managed on previous visits. The remainder of the group visited the retired royal yacht Britannia, which I had visited years before, so I opted for the Castle.
One of several bagpipers who serenade the tourists in the city.
Edinburgh Castle is massive and as formidable as one could imagine. But I found the guides incredibly helpful and even managed a ride to the crest via an interior tunnel carved out of the stone--for the convenience of the military--and the tourists who ask!
The Castle was crowded with visitors. And the views of the surrounding city were almost as superlative as the structure itself.
Mere words cannot convey the sense of power that you feel while investigating the various rooms and displays which encompass the history of Scotland.
Next week, a visit to the Scottish National Gallery and its brilliant collection of art.
We'll return to visit more rooms of Ham House, a brilliant 17th Century house belonging to the National Trust. Two weeks ago we looked at the Great Hall and a few others. Today, we start with the North Drawing Room.
Created in 1637-39, it was part of the State Rooms where honored guests would withdraw after dining. The NT Guidebook tells us the twisted columns at the sides of the fireplace were "inspired by similar features in one of the cartoons (preliminary designs) for Raphael's Act of the Apostles (then in the collection of Charles I)." Very unusual to say the least.
Equally unusual is the Ivory Cabinet "probably made in Antwerp in the 1670's when ivory was still a rare and exotic material." Below, the Long Gallery, hung with portraits of family and friends.
Above left, a self portrait of artist Van Dyke; a wheelchair belonging to the 9th Earl of Dysart (1859-1935) who died without issue. Ham House went to his second cousin, 81-year-old Sir Lyonel Tollemache. Sir Lyonel and his son donated the house, which miraculously survived many nearby WWII bombings, to the National Trust in 1948.
A highlight of Ham House is the Green Closet, above. The NT writes, "It is an almost unique survival of a cabinet room of the 1630s and vividly evokes the art-loving court of Charles I." The room is filled with small paintings, miniatures, two Japanese cabinets (center below) and a painted ceiling (right) commissioned from artist Franz Cleyn in the 1630s.
The library, clearly a place we'd love to inhabit, full of appealing volumes and a large collection of globes and maps.
And here we find the Sp, AKA the Duchess' Bathroom, 17th century style.
She could relax on the chaise but I fear the tub lacked spouts for circulating water. Perhaps the maid stirred the contents instead. It certainly would have been the height of contemporary luxury.
More and more the NT houses are restoring the servant's areas...since most of their visitors would probably have more in common with the downstairs than the upstairs. And one of the volunteers in the kitchen gave us a nice send-off with a view of the work of art she had just finished baking. Brava!!
We'll take a brief break from our visit to Ham House and turn to fashions for a while. Part Two of Ham House coming soon.
This couple appears ready for the cooler temperature of November, though I assume the lady is recycling her summer chapeau and I would advise her to lift those skirts on damp days. The muff is wonderful. The plate appeared in Le Beau Monde, here from February, 1807. It was published for just four years by John Browne Bell. He was the estranged and/or competitive son of the John Bell who published of the popular magazine La Belle Adsemblee for many more years, according to author and fashion-plate expert Candice Hern (candicehern.com).
Here is the magazine's description for these outfits published in the issue for December 1807:
No. 1. - A Morning Dress. A round cambric gown, a walking length, with short full sleeve, and puckered cuff, buttoned or laced down the back, and made high round the neck, with a full frill of lace. A military stock, edged round the chin with the same. A figured Chinese scarf, the colour American green, twisted round the figure in the style of antique drapery. Melon bonnet the same colour, striped, and trimmed to correspond with the scarf. Hair in irregular curls on the forehead. Earrings of gold or topaz. Long York tan, or Limerick gloves, above the elbow. Slippers of yellow Morocco. This dress, divested of the bonnet, is considered genteel negligée for any period of the day.
No. 2. - A Morning Walking, or Carriage Habiliment. A simple breakfast robe of India muslin, or cambric; with plain high collar, and long sleeve. Plain chemisette front, buttoned down the bosom. A Calypso wrap of morone velvet, or kerseymere, trimmed entirely round with white ermine, or swansdown. Spanish hanging-sleeve, suspended from the back, and falling over the left shoulder, terminating in a round point below the elbow. This ornament is lined throughout with skin the same as the trimming. A mountain hat of white Imperial beaver, or fur, tied under the chin with a ribband the colour of the coat. Gloves and shoes of American green, or buff. Cropt hair, confined with a band, and curled over the left eye.
As often in the fashion plate world, the descriptions are detailed and using terms like 'morone', which drive we 21st c. readers to our glossaries. Marone means 'maroon' which was used loosely by the water-colorist who painted this plate.
Ackermann's Repository, February 1810, is described: "A purple velvet round robe. bordered around the bottom, bosom and wrists with narrow gold lace. A Spanish hat, composed of purple silk or velvet, the same as the robe, looped up in front with brilliants, and ornamented with curled ostrich feathers. A capuchin cloak of white satin, trimmed entirely round with full swansdown. Diamond chain and cross; drop ear rings and bracelets of the same; gold chain and opera glass. Grecian slippers of white satin, trimmed with silver.
A round gown has several definitions, but it generally refers to a skirt that goes fully around the waist, not split to show an undergown, as often in the early 18th and 17th centuries. A capuchin cloak indicates a hood (like the monks?). It doesn't look very warm for a February evening at the opera.
I have always liked this print of the lady who could not wait to remove her outerwear before reading the letter. It was taken from Ackermann's, November, 1811. I assume the letter was from her lover or her husband, perhaps both!
A plain high morning robe of India muslin with an ala Greque border of needlework at the feet. A French wrapping coat of gray or blossom-colored silk, trimmed entirely round with swansdown.
Hair in dishelved curls and twisted bands, Beehive hat, composed of the same material as the coat, with strings of lemon-colored ribbon, and ornamented with two curled ostrich feathers. Half-boots of buff silk, and kid gloves of a lemon color.
The print from the Lady's Magazine of October, 1814, comes with no description, but I think it is obvious that the shawl trimmed with fur is suitable for the month's plunging temperatures.
If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that I have spent several months presenting selections from my talk on London Mansions at the 2019 Beau Monde Conference in NYC on July 22. I covered the major houses discussed, and a few which I did not have time to complete, numbering fourteen posts in all. Now I have another house in greater London which I visited in September with my traveling companion Kristine Hughes Patrone.
We had a free day in London, unplanned in advance, an unusual occurrence for sure. We decided to venture forth to the neighborhood of Richmond, an easy tube ride. On arrival and after a much-needed coffee, the information desk told us we could take bus 371, and when we got off at Ham Street, we would immediately see the house. Easy peasy, we thought. Wrong!
It was a very long tramp which we somehow achieved without direction. The house was NOT in view of the bus stop. Eventually, we found it, and required immediate breakfast and more coffee! In the Orangery Cafe, we were comforted by lovely bouquets everywhere.
On this stunning day, we were eager to investigate the extensive gardens before we entered the house itself.
Before the entrance to the house we were greeted by this statue of Neptune, aka Father Thames, in Coade Stone purchased by the 6th Earl of Dysart in the early 19th century. The NT guidebook quotes Mary Berry's statement in 1809: "I was much pleased with the house and its situation, surrounded as it is by large avenues of trees, with its terraced gardens and its great bowling green;...as perfectly quiet and secluded as if the house were placed in the furthest county from London."
Below, left, Neptune from the entrance; pineapple near the gates also made of Coade stone; busts of Roman Emperors and British Kings in niches along the forecourt wall.
The house was built about 1610 for retired naval captain Sir John Vavasour, hero of battles with Spain, in the familiar Jacobean H style; the exterior remains much as it was in its early days. Below, the Great Hall, as remodeled in the early 18th C.
The NT Trust Guide tells us the house was "acquired" by William Murray, and the website indicates the house and property was a gift of King Charles I in 1626 to his childhood friend and companion and perhaps whipping boy. Murray and his daughter Elizabeth decorated the house and developed it as a treasure chest of rare quality. Through cunning and luck, the family survived the English Civil War and rule of Cromwell. Once Charles II was crowned in 1660, Elizabeth was supported in her ownership of Ham House.
Above, Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart, later Duchess of Lauderdale (1626-1698). Below, left, Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale; Duchess's Bedroom; her desk.
The Withdrawing Room is called The Volury Room based on the former existence of many bird cages and the tapestries and paintings of avian subjects.
Below, more views of Ham House treasures: Ham House from the South, 1670's, by artist Henry Danckerts; 17th C. Chinese lacquer cabinet and Chinese jars; Fire Screen.
There's much more to cover at Ham House...next week. Stay tuned.
Osterley Park is managed by the National Trust and a very good job they do! On my third visit, I was excited to learn that we could take pictures INSIDE. Excellent news. The house is in the western part of Greater London; when built, it was considered in the country. Now it can be reached by rail and a short walk.
The approach to the house is suitably dramatic, viewed across a pond laced with water lilies in full bloom.
The Tudor style mansion was originally built in 1575 by Sir Thomas Gresham, banker and founder of the Royal Exchange. After considerable alterations in the 17th century, it was purchased by Francis Child, the immensely wealthy London banker, in 1711. His grandson Francis III hired Robert Adam to transform the house in 1761, but Francis died before the house was finished, leaving the house to his brother, Robert Child. Adam’s work was completed in 1780.
The current look - both inside and out - is very much that of the Adam period in all its glory. On the exterior, Adam had one section of the square Tudor house replaced with handsome Georgian columns, framing an open courtyard. The great house and estate passed down in the line of the Child banking family, about which, more later.
The magnificent Hall, designed by Adam in 1767, is elegant in its neutral color scheme of grays and whites with stucco panels of ancient military scenes on the walls. The floor has a dark pattern on white marble, a reflection of the plaster-work ceiling design.
Below, the Eating Room boasts handsome Adam-style decor and a suite of Chippendale chairs which accommodate any size dining table.
Above, the Long Gallery, chock full of treasures, serves as a picture gallery and general gathering place. including magnificent decor and furniture. According to the NT, it takes up to three days to wax and polish the floor. The room has been the setting for many movie scenes. A few of the many outstanding objects are below. Click on the pictures please.
Among the most famous of Ostlerley's gems is the magnificent State Bed, with its eight posters and elaborate hangings.
Adjacent is the Etruscan Dressing Room, drawing upon the images discovered in Italy in the mid 18th century. At that time, the term Etruscan referred to the types of designs found on Greek vases and in Pompeii. The furniture is attributed to Chippendale.
Another splendid tour d'force at Osterley is the Tapestry Room. designed to impress even royalty. The set of magnificent Gobelins tapestries were ordered from the factory in Paris, which was run in the 1770’s by a Scot. The matching upholstery was woven to match. The designs celebrate Mrs. Child's love of gardening and animals.
Osterley was inherited by Sarah Sophia Fane (below, left), also called Sally Jersey (1785-1867), well known in Regency society as a patroness of Almack’s and one who was highly influential in political and social circles. She inherited the house and fortune of her grandfather, the head of Child’s bank. She married George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey (1773–1859). Sally's mother, Sarah Anne Child (1764-1793) was the only child of Robert Child (1739-1782), the principal shareholder in the banking firm Child & Company.
Sarah Anne had eloped with John Fane (1773-1859), 10th Earl of Westmorland., her father chose to leave his fortune to her second child, so that it did not fall into the hands of the Westmorlands. but instead, it went to the Jerseys.
Sally’s mother-in-law was Frances Twysden (1754-1821), Lady Jersey, below right, was the wife of 4th Earl of Jersey (1736-1805) and mistress of George, Prince of Wales. While she was the Prince’s mistress, she schemed to have him marry Caroline of Brunswick, then acted as one of her ladies in waiting, insuring that the marriage would not be happy. About 1803, her place as mistress to the Prince of Wales usurped by Lady Hertford. The death of her husband in 1805 left her in financial distress but her son settled her debts many times.
Osterley was rarely used by the Jerseys, who had his estate Middleton in Oxfordshire in addition to a large townhouse at #38 Berkeley Square. For decades it was maintained but empty of life, though they sometimes entertained here.
In 1885, the famous library was sold for thirteen thousand pounds. For many years, the house was used only on occasional weekends until the 9th Earl opened it to the public on weekends. He gave it to the National Trust in 1949 and considerable restoration has taken place.
The servants’ areas are being restored, including the kitchen, top left. And one can imagine what went on in the still room, top right, as the produce of the gardens was turned into herbal tisanes, fragrant ointments, and perhaps even drops of opium in rosewater. A cautionary sign announces the wine cellar; The stable block has been converted to the ubiquitous NT tea room and gift shop.
Cambridge House is also known as #94 Piccadilly. We hope this fine mansion, even though it occupies the 13th position in this series of posts taken from my 'London Mansions' talk at the Beau Monde's 2019 conference in New York on July 23, will soon again be among the leading venues in its new role --probably as a hotel.
This rather sad photo was taken before the current changes began. Cambridge House is a fine Palladian house built in the 1760’s, designed by Matthew Brettingham. It is Grade I-listed and had been abandoned for 20 years while various schemes were planned and discarded for its revival. Below, current renovations underway, as of September, 2019.
Was it last year or the year before that we found food trucks in the courtyard?
Though many problems exist, some of the rooms remain in excellent condition. The original owner was the 2nd Earl of Egremont who also lived at Petworth in Sussex. His son, George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, lived here for many years. In the 1820’s it was the residence of Lord Cholmondeley, and from 1829 the London residence of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, when it became known as Cambridge House.
Please click on the above images for larger versions.
After the Duke of Cambridge died in 1850, the house was purchased by Lord Palmerston — who served twice as prime minister — and on his death it was bought by the Naval and Military Club. In the late 1860s, the club became known as the “In and Out” from the signs on the entrance and exit gates.
The Naval and Military Club was there until 1996 when the club moved to 4 St James’s Square. The house was sold to a businessman for £50 million. He had plans to make it into a hotel but went bankrupt a few years later. In 2010, it was sold again for £150 million, supposedly for a private residence. The latest scheme seems to be a hotel utilizing the surrounding buildings which are not listed and can be adapted to contemporary standards. The reception rooms will be in the mansion itself. Below, the Ballroom, before renovations began.
To provide historical perspective, we have rounded up the usual suspects below --- Lord Egremont, top left, is believed to have been the father of Lady Melbourne’s son William Lamb, the prime minister…and perhaps daughter Emily, center, also, though other candidates have been considered other than her mother’s husband. Emily later lived and entertained lavishly here with her 2nd husband Lord Palmerston, right – and while she was married to Lord Cowper, Palmerston was probably the father of young Lady Emily Cowper, bottom left, – who later married the 7th Earl Shaftesbury, bottom right, the great reformer of the Victorian era, an evangelical crusader for ending child labor and so forth – perhaps making up for the indiscretions in his wife’s family history???
Below, the dining room while the In and Out Club.
Below, drawing of Cambridge House, or Palmerston House as it was known then, in 1864.
Let's hope the current renovations are superb and Cambridge House regains its former glory.
Victoria Hinshaw, Author