Archive for the ‘Standen’ Category

Philip Webb and Standen

April 28, 2015
A view over the garden towards the south front of Standen, designed by Philip Webb. ©National Trust Images/John Miller

A view over the garden towards the south front of Standen, designed by Philip Webb. ©National Trust Images/John Miller

As part of the Philip Webb centenary, the colleagues looking after Standen have made available a few historic images of this Webb-designed country house.

The Beale family in the porch at Standen 1902. ©National Trust

The Beale family in the porch at Standen 1902. ©National Trust

Standen, completed in 1894, is a rare example of a virtually unaltered Webb design.

Standen seen from the upper lawn, in about  1900, with the garden still in its infancy. ©National Trust

Standen seen from the upper lawn, in about 1900, with the garden still in its infancy. ©National Trust

Webb also designed many of the fixtures and fittings, which were then combined with lighting by W.A.S. Benson, wallpapers and fabrics by Morris & Co and furniture, and furnishings and works of art by other Arts & Crafts designers such as William de Morgan, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

The hall at Standen, used by the Beale family for tea and musical evenings. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The hall at Standen, used by the Beale family for tea and musical evenings. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The house was built for James Beale (1840-1912), a wealthy solicitor (visible standing on the far left in the family photograph above). The Beales were a Unitarian family who had been active in the business and civic life of Birmingham.

Margaret ('Maggie') Beale (1872-1947), chanelling the Arts & Crafts lifestyle in the drawing room at Standen. ©National Trust

Margaret (‘Maggie’) Beale (1872-1947), chanelling the Arts & Crafts lifestyle in the drawing room at Standen. ©National Trust

James Beale’s work in facilitating the growth of the Midland Railway brought him to London, but in 1890 he also bought land in West Sussex with a view to building a country house for his family.

The main courtyard at Standen as the house was being finished in about 1893, showing the workmen's hut at left. ©National Trust

The main courtyard at Standen as the house was being finished in about 1893, showing the workmen’s hut at left. ©National Trust

Webb was known for his beautiful and well-designed but sober buildings, and he had a reputation for staying withing budget – all factors that must have appealed to the cultivated, high-minded Beales.

The dining room at Standen. The fitted dresser was designed by Webb, and he is known to have inspired his clients to display blue and white porcelain, as was done here. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The dining room at Standen. The fitted dresser was designed by Webb, and he is known to have inspired his clients to display blue and white porcelain, as was done here. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

James Beale’s wife, Margaret (1847-1936) was an expert needlewoman, and her taste is reflected in the many Arts & Crafts textiles in the house.

The 'Larkspur' bedroom at Standen. The fitted wardrobes were designed by Webb for the family's eldest daughter, Amy Beale. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The ‘Larkspur’ bedroom at Standen. The fitted wardrobes were designed by Webb for the family’s eldest daughter, Amy Beale. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Webb remained on friendly terms with the Beale family. In 1902 he retired to a cottage in Worth, ten miles west of Standen.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is also celebrating Webb’s centenary, with a dedicated blog.

 

 

 

 

Standen: The house in its setting

June 13, 2011

The south front of Standen. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

My previous post about the textiles at Standen gave me the idea to show some images of the architecture of the house, which is equally subtle and textured.

Weatherboarding and hanging tiles on the garden front front of the house. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

The architect, Philip Webb, loved fine craftsmanship and humble but interesting materials.

The Dining Room windows on the east front, with Webb's favourite round-headed frames. The window sills and the corbel are of Portland stone, the other stonework is local sandstone. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

At Standen he carefully incorporated some exisiting buildings into the design.

The summer house at the far end of the south front, adjoining the conservatory. ©NTPL/John Miller

He used sandstone quarried from the site and locally made red bricks. Webb also deliberately made use of traditional vernacular materials such as hanging tiles, weatherboarding and render.

Grassy path flanked by cow parsley leading up to the gazebo. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

He managed to create a house that combined great sophistication with a down-to-earth practicality. You could call it the English equivalent of the Japanese aesthetic ideal of wabi, or humble beauty.

William Morris’s influence at Standen

June 10, 2011

Embroidered cushion, probably worked by Maggie Beale, in the Drawing Room at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

I was struck by these images of the beautiful textiles at Standen, West Sussex, with their glowing colours and subtle designs.

The Drawing Room at Standen, with its Morris and Morris-inspired furnishings. ©NTPL/Michael Caldwell

The house was built  by Philip Webb between 1892 and 1894 for the Beale family. The interiors are one of the best surviving ensembles of the designs of William Morris.

Detail of the silk-embroidered wall hanging, based on William Morris's 'Artichoke' design and worked by Margaret Beale and her three eldest daughters in about 1896, in the North Bedroom at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

The mistress of the house, Margaret Beale, was an exceptionally fine needlewomen, one of the upper middle and upper class Victorian women who helped to revive embroidery in Britain. Some of the embroidered textiles at Standen were worked by her.

Embroidered tapestry cushion, probably worked by Maggie Beale, in the Drawing Room at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

She also passed her skills on to her daughters. Maggie Beale, in particular, created cushion covers, bedspreads and stool-tops after her own designs, but in the Arts and Crafts style, featuring flowers grown in the Standen garden.

The North Bedroom at Standen, with various embroidered textiles worked by Margaret Beale and her daughters. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

Other embroideries at Standen are based on Morris’s wallpaper designs.

Embroidered tapestry cushion, probably worked by Maggie Beale, in the Drawing Room at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

The house and its garden were left to the National Trust by Helen Beale, another of Margaret’s daughters, in 1972.

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2010

Christmas tree with Victorian-style decorations in the Drawing Room at Standen, West Sussex. ©NTPL/John Miller


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