Thursday, December 6, 2018

London: Lunch at the Rothschild's Place!

You will notice I said "lunch at the Rothschilds," not "lunch with the Rothschilds." I just want to be clear! After the Musical Museum, it was time for a little lunch, a little outdoors and a little museum-going and Gunnersby Park was the perfect spot to do all three.


Gunnersby Park House was the home of the Nathan Mayer Rothschild family, who purchased the property in 1834. But it had a long history before, first as the home of Princess Amelia, George II's daughter. She used the home as her summer retreat and was known for giving elaborate parties.


After her death, the estate was sold off in pieces and the original mansion was demolished. Eventually a gentleman named Henry Holland built the large and smaller mansions, adjacent to one another.


The Rothschilds eventually bought both mansions and extended the estate further. Family members lived there until the death of Nathan's grandson, Leopold, in 1925, when his wife sold the entire estate as a memorial to Nathan with the stipulation that it only be used for leisure.



The Gunnersby Park mansion is situated on 200 acres of land in the Brentford/Chiswick, Ealing and Acton areaa of London, not far from Kew Gardens. In 1965 it was passed on to the London Borough of Hounslow. Gunnersby Park is now a public park area. The home is open at no charge, and while the rooms have not been furnished, they have been restored.


The mansion is now a museum which first opened in 1929 and was recently restored to showcase local history and archaeology, costume and fine art.


It's quite the place, with tall and elaborately painted ceilings. This one, depicting The Four Seasons, was painted in 1837 by Edmund Thomas Parris.


Of course there were elegant chandeliers.


Sections of the home have been turned into a museum related to the Hounslow and Ealing districts of London. I enjoyed seeing reminders of Ealing Studios (the "Downton Abbey" kitchen scenes were filmed at Ealing's studios). Gunnersby itself was featured in the film "The Lavender Hill Mob.")


There was a costume exhibit...


...and there was even a spot to try on period fashions.


One does what one must when visiting the Rothschilds!


Other parts of the museum focused on Ealing schools, industry and its people. I loved seeing the chimney pots.


Look at the intricate designs. Who would ever see this from street level, yet they were exquisitely detailed.


And this "wooly bike" fascinated me. It was inspired by a visit to a bicycle factory and research into Victorian spinning wheels. Artist Wayne Lucas created this bicycle to create textiles while one exercises!


The boating pond near the cafe dates fro 1760 and is the only 18th century building still standing in the park.


I have to say I loved this view...


...and the magnificent swans and gulls that were enjoying the sunny autumn day.


Though considered nationally significant, building maintenance costs have led to great decay, particularly in the case of the small mansion.


While these made for some of the most interesting looking photographs...


...it also makes for some of the saddest.


In fact, both the large and small mansions and seven other structures were considered neglected enough to be placed on the risk sub-list which is compiled by the statutory body Historic England.


But when it was beautiful, it was quite beautiful, especially on a perfect blue-sky day.


It's architectural features were clearly evident in the sunshine and in the shadows.


I confess, it was a little hard to leave this spot -- and we could have stayed for hours enjoying the parkland and Orangerie.


But time to move on! After all, we had a dinner plans!


Not a dress-up affair. Sigh...


Pity.


Gotta fly! (To check out Jenny's post on our visit to Gunnersby and to the Music Museum, head over HERE!)

34 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Great place you visited, but sad to see some of the buildings are decaying. The costumes look fun! Hugs, Valerie

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what a great tour and place to visit. I enjoyed seeing all the clothes and your cute photo modeling the hats. The chandelier is gorgeous. Love the pretty blue sky! The boating pond looks like a nice habitat for the gulls and the swans, very pretty. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend!

Mae Travels said...

That is magnificently obscure!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

David Gascoigne said...

It is sad indeed to see this kind of decay occurring, but it does illustrate how absolutely wealthy early members of the British aristocracy were, (and other wealthy families such as the Rothschilds), and the extent to which they could support these fabulous estates. Serfdom was over, but the average citizen often lived under conditions approaching serfdom, labouring incredibly long hours in unsafe and unsanitary factories, providing the source of the wealth of the privileged few. It is noteworthy that most huge estates can no longer be supported without most of the residences and the grounds being converted to public space, with carnivals, rock concerts and the like providing the necessary income. There is something both appealing and evocative of the splendour of another time, and a sense of revulsion that such a system could exist.

Jean R. said...

The history of some of those old estates is fascinating. I love all the craftsmanship that went into creating them. Great photos!

Some of those dresses had such tiny waistlines!

William Kendall said...

Terrific shots!

The Four Seasons is a show stopper!

Sami said...

Gorgeous chandeliers and ceilings, and what a pity one of the buildings is in such a bad state.
Interesting museum and I liked the more modern dresses.
Lovely tour Jeanie.

BeachGypsy said...

Oh, those old green chippy doors!--Love them. We have alot of old doors and old buildings like that here. I don't know much about Paris or London or any of these wonderful places and sights you are sharing with us....so it's so nice to learn about these places and the history behind them--you know how I am about the HISTORY...ha ha LOL! I loved the dresses in the costume exhibit, that one with the orange waist is GORGEOUS, love dresses like that. Cant wear anything like that these days, but our daughter would definetly wear that, she loves the fifties era dresses with the full skirts. That long red one you can glimpse in the one picture, looks to be trimmed in gold shiny things--that is so pretty too! Love this post, it was fun seeing this stuff! Hope you've had a good week! It's Friday ALREADY!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

How sad about the disrepair of some of those areas in both the small and large house. But the lovely scenes from the Rothschild's was beautiful. You look great in a hat, too!

Joanne Huffman said...

You went to places I didn’t even know existed. Very cool!

Joyful said...

It's sad that the buildings are neglected but I can certainly understand the significant cost of upkeep. It looks like you had a wonderful time there and the grounds are beautiful.

Iris Flavia said...

The chandelier and ceiling are beautiful - I understand you need emergency-signs, oh, but... it kinda destroys the elegance.
The view across the lake reminds me of our castle Richmond, but then, that was build for Henry´s wife Mathilde from England.
The fashion at times went quite crazy! I wonder if they made noise moving around in that sequined clothes?

Fun youcould check the fashion out on yourselves! :-) Suits you, especially the second!

But the chimney pots really puzzled me. Time is money, no. They´re very beautiful, but what for?
Love that bike.

Sad the buildings are left to decay, but yes, the views are always fascinating.
Wow to that blue sky! Looks like you had a great day!

My name is Erika. said...

This looks like a great place to visit. I found the costumes amazing. It's good to find these fascinating places to make your trip so unique. Hugs-Erika

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

That fancy white hat quite suits you, Jeanie! -Jenn

Tracy said...

Oooo... we've not been there before! Next time! ;) How beautiful... but how sad to the the exterior neglect, etc... LOVE the costume exhibit!! How CUTE are you & Rick with the hat changes! Gotta look the part when visiting the toffs! haha... Goodness... those chimney pots are amazing! I had now idea they bothered with such decorations on such items! Learn something everyday, we do... Oooo... I'm wanting to learn wool spinning. And now I'm inspired to try and rig up a bicycle like that one. Exercise and wool spun--yes--that's my kind of multitasking. ;) ((HUGS))

Christine Graves said...

Wow, I am loving seeing the gardens and the clothes. Wow that soft orange peachy costume is stunning even today! It would fit right into this period really well. Thanks for sharing this :-)

Jenny Woolf said...

Ahhh.....that wonderful blue sky. Those were the days! :)
You got some really wonderful shots of the beautiful clothes, and of course you and Rick look quite the part!

Pam Jackson said...

Love that first chandelier...beautiful. Also love all the dresses except the one that looks to be the oldest and has way to much skirt! Beautiful place and although sad to see a place in ruins I do love the green paint chipping doors.

DUTA said...

I enjoyed looking at the elegant chandeliers, the gulls and swans in the pond, and you two in the 'hat trial' photos.

Carola Bartz said...

Gosh, those costumes are fantastic! Yes, I would have tried on those hats as well - I love hats!

Running on empty said...

I’d enjoy that, because I like interesting ceilings, and textiles. Cath

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what a fabulous day you had! I might add that you and Rick looked rather dapper. I found this so interesting with the history you shared. It is sad that some of it is decaying. Looking forward to the next post!

Shelia said...

Oh, my! Look at you! What a wonderful time you're having. I have loved seeing all of your snaps and, Jeanie, you look just as cute as always! Thanks for popping in to see me, my friend. Merry Christmas.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

handmade by amalia said...

You both look like you're having a blast.
Amalia
xo

Marilyn Miller said...

Thanks for sharing this. If I ever get back to London I would love visiting here. I loved seeing the little mansion eventhough it was decaying. Yes, it does make interesting pictures. And that wooly bicycle, how fascinating. Wonder if it actually worked very well. Loved you both in the hats. And the sights around the grounds were wonderful. Oh yes, the chimney pots. I would have loved doing a rubbing of the design on them. What a wonderful place to visit.

Pom Pom said...

Wow! So fancy!
You guys look so cute in your vintage garb!

Susan Kane said...

What a place. every bit of it is fantastic.

BB said...

I could have sworn I commented here, but maybe I was on my phone and couldn't make it work. I dunno. But I'm here now. :)
Love the pics of the dresses. Can you imagine wearing them? I wouldn't be able to breathe. They are so beautiful, though.
You guys look adorable in those hats. So cute.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

An amazing place and such beautiful costumes!

thepaintedapron.com said...

What a fabulous spot! Love that you could try on period costumes, what fun, and the bicycle spinning wheel is so creative! You saw and visited so many wonderful places on your trip! Thanks for sharing so many fun details Jeanie,
Jenna

Tammie Lee said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time and on a beautiful day!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Looked like such a beautiful day! Those blue skies were so beautiful! That wooly bike is so cool! Looks like a wonderful museum!

Katie Mansfield said...

Lovely. Your photos are so fun.

Jeanie said...

Just another test to see if blogger is going to mail me comments!

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