The autumn events programme continues our exploration of modest homes whose surviving furnishings project a strong sense of their past owners. During the Lincoln conference we visited a small cottage at Navenby, which the village saved as a memorial to its long-time owner Mrs Smith. We continue the theme this autumn with a visit for a small group to David Parr’s house at Cambridge in November. Next April we expect to further this exploration at Hammersmith riverside, home of the Arts & Crafts movement.
Wednesday 28th September: a private visit to Westwood Manor and Great Chalfield Manor Wilts.
Apply by September 1st
‘When I have been asked to name the house which above all others has been sympathetically restored, furnished, and cherished, I never hesitate to quote Westwood. As a specimen of the smaller English country house it is perfection.’ James Lees-Milne.
After languishing as an apple store for most of the 19th century Westwood was bought by Edgar Lister, a diplomat at the Ottoman court. The house contains much furniture in native hardwoods, musical instruments and tapestries collected by Lister from 1911 until his death in 1956. He restored the house and adorned the garden with topiary; he was also an expert in needlepoint and upholstered much of its furniture in Florentine work. We will lunch nearby either at The Courts garden, or at the famous George Inn, Norton St Philip before visiting Great Chalfield Manor in the afternoon. Fee £12 (which does not include refreshments) or entry to Gt Chalfield Manor (free to NT members)
Thursday 6th October: Visit to the Ercol factory and the workshop of a maritime woodcarver
Apply by September 1st. Maximum 10 visitors
Our Spring visit to the Ercol factory was oversubscribed, so Ercol have kindly agreed to a repeat tour of their factory at Princes Risborough. Here’s a 1935 clip from the Ercol YouTube channel of chairmaking in the Chilterns.
We will then travel 20 miles to lunch at Waterperry Gardens cafe (not included in fee) before visiting the on-site workshop of Andy Peters, a maritime woodcarver. Whilst Andy works on all aspects of carved maritime restoration, he is most famed for the restoration or making of replicas of ships’ figureheads – awarded ‘National Treasure’ by Country Life magazine. His projects including those of the Gotheborg, a replica of a Swedish East India Company ship from 1738, French frigate Hermione and the Cutty Sark. His work may be viewed at: www.maritimawoodcarving.co.uk
Princes Risborough is served by by rail from Marylebone station. Those travelling by train will be offered a lift to Waterperry and may be dropped at High Wycombe station at the end of the day.
The event is open to a maximum of ten visitors. Fee £20. If you wish to attend solely the morning or the afternoon event, please contact me.
Tuesday 18th October: The Burrell Collection, Glasgow
Apply by October 1st
A visit to the refurbished Burrell Collection in Glasgow hosted by the curatorial team responsible for the intelligent re-display of Sir William’s outstanding collection of early furniture. Refreshments not included but the Burrell cafe will be open throughout our visit. Fee £10.
Thursday November 10th: The David Parr House, and Saffron Walden Museum
Apply by September 15th
186 Gwydir Street, Cambridge was bought by David Parr in 1886. He was a working-class Victorian decorative artist who worked for the Cambridge firm of F R Leach & Sons on projects throughout the country. Parr learnt his many skills there, painting houses and churches with designs created by Bodley, Kempe and William Morris. Over 40 years, David Parr decorated his terraced home with the designs he worked on every day. The house became a pattern book of his work. After Parr’s death in 1927, his granddaughter Elsie came to live in the house to look after her grandmother and she stayed for the next 85 years. During her time in the house, Elsie married and raised two daughters but resisted any but the most essential alterations to her father’s creation, which remained unknown until her death .
We will lunch in the attractive town of Saffron Walden (not included in the fee) before a tour of the early furniture and carved woodwork at the Saffron Walden museum and museum stores led by the curator. Much of their inventory, including a fine collection of early ceramics was donated to the town by wealthy residents in the early 20th century.
The David Parr house is walkable from Cambridge station. Saffron Walden is reachable by train and bus from Cambridge, but rail travellers are likely to be be offered lifts. Return journey from Audley End station. Maximum 10 visitors. Fee £30.
Applications for all events using the booking form which can be printed from this website.