Articles

Garden Court - the Chambers open for Open House

Open House London has locked up for another year. After a 2012 of suffering bewildering ballots and a wobbly website, the hard-working OH devotees have gone back to basics in 2013 and have queued, or in the case of some at Battersea Power Station have valiantly sought the end of the queue before giving up.

Amongst the gems on display was a building  that combines Grade 1 listed architecture, the home of a British Prime Minister, and the fictional home of one of Charles Dickens’ darkest characters.

London and Edinburgh - the Crystal Connection

The architecture of Scotland's capital is so Gordon Brown, oozing dour gravitas from the sandstone, and proclaiming its prudent psyche. The banking debacle has not damaged Edinburgh's image for the visitor, and the August overseas tourists throng Princes Street to marvel at apparently cross-dressing local males wearing heavy woollen skirts and bellowing out patriotic tunes on the bagpipes.
 

Watts in London and Guildford?

The answer is the marks of the life and achievements of George Frederick Watts, artist and Royal Academician, born in 1807 near Bryanston Square in London, and dying in 1904 at Compton near Guildford, Surrey.

Visitors to the National Portrait Gallery in London may have seen portraits on display from time to time under Watts' so-called Hall of Fame, where he painted the great and the good from late Victorian society, perhaps one of the most noted of whom is Roman Catholic Archbishop Manning.

A Victorian Cricket Match - in Victoria

Oh cricket lovers, put aside the agony of Nick Compton’s 2nd Test innings against New Zealand, described on Test Match Special as like the last Act of Macbeth, and consider the daftness and goodness of a game on 29th May 2013 between The Wisden XI and The Author’s XI.

Argentine Ambassador's Residence, Belgravia

At the midway point between Open House 2012 and 2013, it seems timely to feature one of the jewels in the Open House crown.

Embassy buildings come imposing and impenetrable. Even standing outside one can be intimidating.

However, this building had an early name that was nothing if not prosaic. “The Independent North Mansion” was the title of 49 Belgrave Square, one of Thomas Cubitt’s creations in his Belgravia masterpiece.

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