Monday, 12 April 2010

Pitzhanger-Manor House & Gallery in Ealing, London

It's been a while since I wrote anything - I've been far, far too busy with work, and even busier with travelling and exploring the streets and roads of London recently. So for you today is some Travel-Log-Awesomeness for you today - this will be a joint entry with my sister's blog (she's working on her entry atm.). We visited Pitzmanor-Manor House in Ealing back in February, which is a long time ago, I know. The gallery section is used for art exhibitions (at the time of visiting, there was one on knitting/sewing) and the rest of the building is used for events such as weddings.

Pitzhanger-Manor House in Ealing is a building that has been altered a number of times since being built in the 17th century. It's most famous owner was Sir John Soane (1753-1837), an architect. He enrolled into the Royal Academy in 1771, and designed a triumphal bridge, which won him a gold medal and a travelling scholarship. He used this to travel to Italy, which impressed him greatly. Back in Britain, he bought Pitzhanger-Manor in 1800, and demolished and refuilt most of it (except the South Wing of the building). It was rebuilt into a country villa to entertain friends and clients.

The building today is made up of roughly 3 parts - the far left is the oldest surviving part of the house, designed by George Dance the Younger for Thomas Gurnell (who would become his father in law) in 1768. Soane was an apprentice of Dance, and he kept this part, the South Wing as he admired his work. The middle central bit was Soane's work, and the extension on the right is slightly newer and built in 1940 to replace an earlier extension designed by Ealing Council in 1901. Today, this room is now used as part of the gallery space.

After Soane, the grounds and house passed through a number of owners before being purchased by Sir Spencer Walpole. The grounds, as you see in the picture below, were converted into Walpole Park in 1901 when Ealing District Council acquired them. The house itself was converted into a library the following year. The library moved to the Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre not far away in 1984 and this house was restored and opened to the public.

The pretty staircase features a bust and other items of interest:

This is one of the most beautiful room I've seen around:

And it's very lush ceiling:

I didn't find the other rooms as pretty but were still interesting nonetheless. Worthy of noting is the ceiling feature in one of the rooms which I can only assume imitates what the Pantheon in Rome has - the hole in the top. The rooms also seem to have some kind of classical influence - i.e. the trellis and plant poking through it, and also the zig-zags in the room with the sky-view.

Get there: Ealing Broadway station, short 5-minute walk towards Walpole Park.

1 comment:

*~*crissy*~* said...

woww!!what a beauty!..its so beautifull inside and shiny and newww...and the ceiling....very awesome!*2 thumbs up*....also love ur blog bout duke...haha...very cute..haha!:P