Time and space at Bateman’s

Looking from the Inner Hall to the Hall at Bateman's. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Looking from the Inner Hall to the Hall at Bateman’s. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Following my recent post about the leather hangings at Bateman’s I thought I would show a few more images of the interiors of the house.

The Grange, North End Road, Fulham, London, by Thomas Matthews Rooke, at Bateman's. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The Grange, North End Road, Fulham, London, by Thomas Matthews Rooke, at Bateman’s. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The writer Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) and his wife Caroline (known as Carrie, 1862-1939) bought the Jacobean-period house in 1902 and filled it with antiques. Kipling’s father, John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), helped with sourcing furniture and furnishings from the antiques trade.

Indian silver bottles and tray at Bateman's. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Indian silver bottles and tray at Bateman’s. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Although the Kiplings clearly tried to make the interiors as authentic as possible, the house also has a distinctly Edwardian feel, reflecting the period’s taste for artful antiquarianism.

Caricature of Rudyard Kipling by 'Spy' (Sir Leslie Ward). ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Caricature of Rudyard Kipling by ‘Spy’ (Sir Leslie Ward). ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

It is no coincidence that two pillars of British conservationism, Country Life magazine and the National Trust, were founded at around this time (in 1897 and 1895 respectively).

Plaque with an Indian subject by John Lockwood Kipling, at Bateman's. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Plaque with an Indian subject by John Lockwood Kipling, at Bateman’s. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The house also reflects the Kiplings’ memories of India. Rudyard was born in Bombay and set many of his stories and novels there. Kipling senior worked as an art teacher and museum curator in Lahore and used many Indian subjects and motifs in his own art.

Early eighteenth century japanned cabinet in Elsie Kipling's Sitting Room at Bateman's. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Early eighteenth century japanned cabinet in Elsie Kipling’s Sitting Room at Bateman’s. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Mixing and melding these diverse places and times, the interior is a self-conscious work of art in its own right.

Detail of the embroidery (copy of the original) on the bed in the West Bedroom at Bateman's. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Detail of the embroidery (copy of the original) on the bed in the West Bedroom at Bateman’s. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

In addition it is now of course a ‘shrine’ to a well-known author.

Globe showing the imperialist world-view in the Study at Bateman's. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Globe showing the imperialist world-view in the Study at Bateman’s. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

So Bateman’s does multiple things at once: it contains genuine historic objects and works of art, it provides a snapshot of a certain period and mindset, and it is the unique home of certain individuals, one of whom happened to be a famous writer.

4 Responses to “Time and space at Bateman’s”

  1. deana@lostpastremembered Says:

    Another house I’ve always wanted to visit. You have painted such a rich picture of the house and its treasures. It feels like Kipling just left –– ink drying on a page.

  2. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Deana, thank you. Yes Andreas von Einsiedel’s photos are so evocative.

  3. Richard Hershner Says:

    I enjoyed my visit there immensely & recommend it to all. It has a wonderful, intimate feeling that is missing in the many larger, grand National Trust houses. Your description of how the furnishings were acquired makes clearer how much this house is part of the Arts & Crafts Movement as espoused by William Morris in response to industrialization.

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Richard, I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes it is fascinating how the Arts & Crafts ethos pervaded ‘bon ton’ and ‘bien pensant’ circles in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 789 other followers

%d bloggers like this: