Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

The world and his dog

November 6, 2013
Peter Palmer, huntsman to Sir John William de la Pole, 6th Bt, by Thomas Beach, 1793, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Peter Palmer, huntsman to Sir John William de la Pole, 6th Bt, by Thomas Beach, 1793, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

I have just been looking at the six volumes on the oil paintings owned by the National Trust which have been published by the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF).

Fury, a dappled grey, and his groom, by Francis Sartorius I, 1784, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Fury, a dappled grey, and his groom, by Francis Sartorius I, 1784, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

The Public Catalogue Foundation is an extraordinary venture, in some ways reminiscent of Pevsner’s Buildings of England series, which has succeeded in digitising the UK’s publicly owned oil paintings.

Bruen, a spaniel, and Squirrel, a black horse, by Francis Sartorius I, 1790, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Bruen, a spaniel, and Squirrel, a black horse, by Francis Sartorius I, 1790, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

The database can be accessed digitally via the Your Paintings site, but the PCF is also publishing a series of hardback catalogues, six of which cover the National Trust’s collections.

A groom, two greys and a currick in a courtyard, by Francis Sartorius I, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

A groom, two greys and a currick in a courtyard, by Francis Sartorius I, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

It is wonderful to see the collections of individual historic houses spread out across the pages, in all their variety, splendour and incongruity. Some are undoubted masterpieces by famous artists while others, though more humble, speak eloquently of social attitudes, changing fashions and family preoccupations.

Atlas, Master Pole's pony, which he rode at four year's old, by Francis Sartorius I, c. 1785-6, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Atlas, Master Pole’s pony, which he rode at four year’s old, by Francis Sartorius I, c. 1785-6, at Antony. ©National Trust, image provided by the Public Catalogue Foundation

The pictures shown here are from the collection of the Carew and Pole families which have been associated with Antony, in Cornwall, since the early fifteenth century.

Godolphin revealed

July 5, 2011

The main door on the north front of Godolphin House. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

This week Godolphin House, near Helston in Cornwall, is open to the public for the first time since it was acquired by the National Trust in 2007.

Aerial view of Godolphin House. ©NTPL/Aerial-Cam

The house has been undergoing a huge conservation project costing almost £1 million.

The Dining Room. ©NTPL/Cristian Barnett

The house was built on the site of an earlier castle for the Godolphin (or Godolghan) family in the late fifteenth century. It was rebuilt in the mid-seventeenth century, but has not been altered much since.

The north front. ©NTPL/Aerial-Cam

The estate was later owned by the Osborne family (Dukes of Leeds), with the house being used as a farmhouse. It was ultimately bought and restored by the Schofield family in the twentieth century.

The Saloon during conservation work. ©National Trust

When the National Trust took Godolphin on it was once again in need of attention. When a door was closed one afternoon there was an ominous whooshing sound as the ceiling behind it caved in.

Some of the beams resting on faith. ©National Trust

Some beams were found to be more or less suspended in thin air, their fixings into the walls having rotted clean away.

Work underway on the roof. ©National Trust

The conservation project involved treating and replacing rooftiles, floorboards, walls and woodwork.

Water trough in the garden. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

The house is open this week, until 8 July, 10 am – 4 pm, by timed ticket (call 01736 763194 or visit the Godolphine web pages for more information). After this week the house will be closed again to allow the furniture and fittings to be brought back in.

A family divided

July 9, 2010

Buff coat once worn by Sir Alexander Carew, second Baronet, on display in the Library at Antony, Cornwall. ©NTPL/Cristian Barnett

A recent post by Courtney Barnes made me think of buff coats (the coat worn by Ewan MacGregor in Courtney’s image is buff-coloured rather than being an actual buff – i.e. leather – coat, but that’s associational anarchy for you), and that prompted me to look into the history of the coat I showed in one of my own previous posts.

Swagger portrait of Sir Alexander Carew, second Baronet (1608/9-44). English school, c.1630. ©NTPL/John Hammond

That coat once belonged to Sir Alexander Carew, a seventeenth-century member of the ancient Cornish Carew clan. In the 1640s he was caught up in the Civil War, which divided not just the country but also his own family.

Antony in its park. The house was rebuilt in the early eighteenth century (and the rhododendrons are also a later introduction). ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

Sir Alexander and his half-brother John were on the side of Parliament. Other members of the family were staunch royalists, and there is a tradition at Antony that in their rage they cut Sir Alexander’s portrait out of its frame and consigned it to the cellar.

Charles I at his trial by Edward Bower (fl.1629-66/67), in the Hall at Antony. ©NTPL/John Hammond

While defending the strategic St Nicholas island near Plymouth against royalist attack, Sir Alexander began to have doubts. Before he could change sides, however, he was betrayed, taken to London and beheaded on Tower Hill.

John Carew also came to a bad end. After the defeat of the royalists, he was one of the 59 Commissioners who signed the King’s death warrant in 1649. At the Restoration in 1660 he was duly convicted of regicide and executed at Charing Cross.

Various ancestors looking down from the stairs at Antony. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Sir Alexander’s kinsmen later took pity on him and had his portrait put back in the frame – the stitches can still be seen.

His eldest surviving son, John, was fortunately too young to be involved in the Civil War, and was allowed to inherit the title and the estate. He was a member of the 1660 Convention Parliament which restored Charles II to the throne.

Living (and filming) at Antony

March 26, 2010

 

©NTPL/Andrew Butler

Antony, near Torpoint in Cornwall, has been the ancestral home of the Carew family ever since Sir William Carew began to build it in 1720. In 1961 Sir John Carew Pole gave Antony to the National Trust, with an endowment for its upkeep, but by mutual agreement he continued to live in the house, as does his son, Sir Richard, with his wife Lady Mary, today.

Evidence of family occupation at Antony. ©NTPL/Cristian Barnett

Donor families remain in residence at a number of National Trust properties. This helps to preserve the historical continuity of the place, and to prevent it becoming too museum-like. At Antony the Carew Poles have not only worked with the Trust to open the house to visitors, but they have also commissioned contemporary art and developed the garden.

Cheshire Cat? Detail on an eighteenth-century table at Antony. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Recently the Carew Poles and the Trust staff at Antony were joined by Tim Burton and his crew who came to borrow the house and garden as an evocative set for the new Alice in Wonderland film.  

The track along which Alice runs, in the Woodland Garden at Antony. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

An article on the filming at Antony has appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of the National Trust Magazine. To celebrate the film the gardens will be turned into a wonderland this season, with wondrous installations, mysterious trails and Mad Hatter tea parties.


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