Saturday, 28 September 2013

Dunglass House Berwickshire

This view shows the west front of Dunglass House which was the back of the house.

It  was built on the site of the C14th Dunglass Castle, of which nothing remains. The architect was Richard Crichton who also built Abercairney Abbey and Rossie Castle (also demolished, later in 1960 and 1957). Built between 1807 and 1813, it still retained classical features at a time when the new Gothic style was becoming more fashionable. The full entrance front to the east was around 60 metres wide including the service wing to the north. The final bill for building costs was over £36,000, over two and a half million pounds today. Following a fire in 1947 which gutted the building, it was eventually demolished by 1959. The stables and Dunglass Collegiate Church still survive on the estate and a new Dunglass house is built over the old site.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Cottingham Grange Yorkshire

The name of Cottingham derives from the name of a 5th century Anglo-Saxon tribal chief and means  'Homestead of Cotta's people'. Cotta is derived from an Acient Briton female deity called ‘Ket’, in turn derived from the Celtic for wood, ‘ Coed’. Cottingham Grange was built in 1802 but the Ringrose family had lived in the area since the seventeenth century. William Ringrose lived here in 1820, the time of his portrait painting:

By 1865 the Ringrose family owned 1200 acres in Cottingham, reduced to just 570 acres by 1907. The Ringrose family also owned over 1000 acres and Sarum Manor House from 1870 to 1931.

The Grange was requisitioned during WW2 for officer’s quarters and barracks were built to the south east of the grounds. Some of the barracks still stood until the 1980s. The WW2 Operational Base for Cottingham North Auxiliary Unit Patrol was hidden underneath the green house, entered via the nearby Boiler House. The entire Patrol almost died from the boiler house fumes on one occasion but were rescued by a Unit Member (who was a GP) who had been out on patrol and discovered the unconscious group on his return.

Cottingham Grange was demolished around 1951 to make way for a new secondary school. A school still stands on the site today.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Ruskin Manor, Denmark Hill, London

South-east garden front view of Ruskin Manor, a substantial brick house built between the late C18th and early C19th.

Ruskin Manor (as it was later named) was once the family home of John Ruskin from 1842 to 1871. Ruskin’s parents lived here and it is where his wife lived from 1848 until 1854 when the marriage was annulled. He wrote about this house: "It stood in command of seven acres of healthy ground, half of it meadow sloping to the sunrise, the rest prudently and pleasantly divided into an upper and lower kitchen garden, a fruitful bit of orchard and chance inlets and outlets of wood walk.". The nearby railways were one of the reasons Ruskin left the property as they were said to have ruined the view from the house.

The Manor became the Ruskin Hotel in the early C20th and was eventually demolished in 1949.

The site of the old manor is today Cross Court SE5 8HH