Archive for the ‘Standen’ Category

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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