Tuesday, 27 January 2009

For Rebecca...

Today’s post is dedicated to Rebecca, who successfully guessed what the background was in the Everyday Household Objects Series. In case you missed the answer it’s a Canon Pixma IP4000 printer, which produces fantastic photograph printouts.

Today’s post is a gargoyle snapped on the Trojan Stairway at Port Lympne Mansion, near Ashford in Kent. Part way up the 125 steps there are these ornate flowerpots which, in the middle of winter, seem devoid of life, with only a faint reminder of what once flowered there. From certain angles, like this one, it appears that the stony ram’s head has a strange and mystical mane.
The Port Lympne Mansion was built in 1912 for the Right Honourable Philip Sassoon, and took the two architects, Herbert Baker and Ernest Willmott two years to construct. The exterior reflects the Dutch Colonial style of architecture and the Mansion was often said to be the last historic house of that century. The walls are made from 2 and a half inch bricks, the roof from old Kent tiles and the window frames from solid oak.

The interior was designed to Sir Philip’s requirements and has the essence of a roman villa, with marble columns, sweeping stone staircase and tessellated hall. The hallway floor is made from black and white marble in concentric curves and is fascinating to the eye. The Mansion was used as a billet for troops during World War II and during this time a lot of the original art work and features were damaged. Since then the Tate Gallery have organised a lot of restoration work and the Mansion is now in its prime.

Contained within the Mansion are many artefacts of differing type. There are examples of ornamented ironwork made by Berub Reynolds and designed by Philip Tilden, who later was also responsible for the Moorish patio and the swimming pool outside (now a decorative pond with fountain). There are many fantastic pieces of art mostly depicting wildlife from across the globe. The Mansion houses three Churchill paintings (loaned by his daughter) which depict the Mansion and the view over the Romney marshes. Of the original artwork designed for the Mansion there is a Glyn Philpot frieze remaining, depicting Egyptians.

There are three mural rooms in the Mansion one painted by Rex Whistler, one by Spencer Roberts and the third by Martin Jordan, the latter of whom incorporated his own experiences of travelling the world and from right here in the Park. Martin Jordan now has the honour of revitalising the other mural rooms when required to do so.
Photograph details: Nikon D40. Focal length 55 mm, ISO-200, exp: 1/200 sec. F-stop f/7.1

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  1. Not that I'm not grateful for the dedicated post - but should I read into the fact that it was centered around a gargoyle? ;-D

    Just kidding! I wish I could find pictures of the murals that were on those walls - I'd like to see them.

  2. Haha! yeah you should :op

    To be honest, It's the only picture I have of the gargoyles etc. I have a portrait image of the Trojan Staircase but that's it, I'm afraid. We only went originally because of the Zoo they have, and the grounds are 15 acres so fairly large. I am planning on going back when it's a bit warmer for a full day to snap the mansion and grounds. I was going to post the Trojan Staircase tomorrow

  3. I'm just giving you a hard time. I look forward to seeing the staircase.

  4. Well thank you very much(!) I do intend on going back on a nice day but it probably won't be until mid-feb at the earliest to be honest. Trojan tomorrow though


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