Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wednesday II - Anglesey Abbey

We finally arrived at our destination.  Anglesey Abbey is a property under the care of National Trust.  The house is an amalgam of the medieval with the late Elizabethan, with 19th and 20th century alterations and additions producing a 'rambling' plan and a picturesque exterior.  It is surrounded by a large mainly 20th century garden and park.

This is the view from the drive on the approach to the house.  Typically picturesque.  Looking back the park seems to contain nearly all English park/garden traditions.

The entrance formed in the angle between the Tudor wing (left) and the medieval remains of the priory (right) thought to be the Priors Hall.  The two wings were once separate.

This is the Tudor wing of the house.  The walls are a mixture of carr stone, clunch and limestone. The right hand side conceals an earlier structure.  I am not sure whether the wing to the left is 19th or 20th century, either way, inside is an immense Neo-Georgian library.  More of that later. 

Another view of the exterior of the library.

Finally at the rear of the house, added to the end wall of the medieval wing is this, designed by Sir Albert Richardson.  Note the polite way in which it continues the scale and design of the first floor windows (extreme right of shot).  It is however particularly austere, both inside and out, with some of that froideur that you get in twentieth century architecture such as in the work of Giles Gilbert Scott.  And just as in the work of Scott mmense care has been taken with the masonry - each block has been semi-boasted.  The other façade to this is one immense blank wall.  Very 20th century.  There is definitely a nod in the direction Richard Norman Shaw.  It has a sort of Northern quality to it reminding me of that squared look that one associates with certain Elizabethan architecture, eg Garthorpe Hall.  The projecting bay contains, surprisingly, a great stone staircase to what I think is the music room.  Oddly it is the only access to that room.  I cannot help also seeing a Hollywood set in there too, a feeling I also got walking around the rest of the house.  Editing this, I realized that the house is a rather isolated - perhaps cocooned - place.  A world entire unto itself.

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