Wednesday 7th June 2017
Ham House and Strawberry Hill House
We enjoyed good weather for our trip with just a little abnormal traffic as we reached London. A private tour of the very stylish Stuart Ham House enabled small groups to enjoy the enthusiasm and anecdotes of the guides. There was a glimpse of a fine collection of paintings, textiles and furniture.
Outside the garden was a contrast between the rectangular vegetable gardens and flower gardens near the Orangery, the radiating structure of the less formal ‘wilderness’ gardens and the formal parterre gardens.
Just over the river was our second destination, Strawberry Hill House. This brilliant white gothic revival villa, built by Horace Walpole in the second half of the eighteenth century, provided a distinct contrast in style with Ham House.
Although Walpole built up an impressive collection to fill his house, subsequent beneficiaries got into debt and in 1842 the entire collection was sold off.
Despite this the magnificent architectural details such as the Robert Adam fireplaces, stained glass, fanned ceilings and wallpapers can still be admired, recently restored with impressive scarlet and gold details.