Trip to the Cotswolds

Last week, I went down to the Cotswolds to prepare for a feature on a delectable early-18th-century house, in a delightful setting not far from Painswick. This is a gem of the smaller English baroque house, conditioned as much by the Cotswolds mason tradition as by the most significant architectural theorising of the day (ie its a bit old fashioned for its date, but I love it). It looks over a valley but at the same time is made to feel rather remote by the tall trees which surround it. Our hosts have lived here for many decades, and treated it most lovingly, furnished with good English antiques and paintings, it is the epitome of English country life.

On our tour round the house we trace the alterations made in the early 1800s- a library, some Gothic detailing – and in the early 20th century, where we have an amusing time picking over photographs of fancy dress balls of the 1920s to see how the panelling looked like then. David Verey, the author of the Cotswolds Pevsner, lived there for some time as a child.

The author of the forthcoming piece is Christopher Woodward, the lively new director of the Museum of Garden History, formerly of the Holborne Museum in Bath and author of In Ruins, who has been a freelance contributor for Country Life for the past decade.

He is hosting a talk and exhibition from the Garnetts of Cannwood who I visited for the Genius of the Place competition, and will have buckets of wild flowers bought up from their farm on the day of their talk, to bring a breath of the country to Lambeth. Details of the talk can be found in Town and Country soon.

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