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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Spring at Upton House

I have been to Upton house so many times over the years and have viewed it in all the different seasons but yesterday was my first visit this year. I only had a couple of hours to myself but the sun was shining so I grabbed my camera and set off down the Fossway. I wasn't actually planing to go as far down the road as Upton House as I knew I did not have much time. I was actually planning to take a quiet walk around Charlecote Park instead but as I came to the junction which I normally turn off the Fossway for Charlecote, I stayed on the Fossway instead.
I think it was a photo I had seen on the internet a couple of days before of 1000's of daffodils in the Orchard at Upton House that made me stay on that road. They looked so beautiful, so many in one place. It reminded me of the tulips at Coughton Court last year. Unfortunately it was very windy when I arrived so trying to take a good shot of the beautiful flowers, wasn't as easy as I had thought.


 Upton House is another place where I don't often go inside the house. I guess like I have said before, when I am out with my children ,we go out to be outside so tend to stick to the grounds.
Yesterday was different. I was on my own so I did go inside and it was lovely. I was walking through the rooms listening to the piano playing in the background and singing coming from the Main Hall.

 Upton House is unlike many of the historic houses we see today. Unlike most of these grand houses that have been passed down through the family generations, Upton House has constantly changed hands through the centuries. Built on what was Upton Hamlet which was cleared for pasture around 1500, the house has also changed through over time. In 1927 Lord Bearsted bought Upton House and extended it so that it could be used as a weekend party house, which is how you see the house today if you visit.

When I arrived the gardeners were busy on the terraced garden. If you haven't been here before this part of the garden is quite steep.

Some of the steps leading down to the terraced garden.

This wasn't even half way down and you can see one of the gardeners at the top. Guess they can't mind heights working here.

Colourful flowers starting to pop up all around the terrace.

This area is lovely in the Summer and so full of wildlife. These are a couple of photos I took last year. I have so many photos of insects here, I will have to look for them.

A dragonfly

Upton House and Gardens in the Summer months.

The terraced garden

Always full of colour.

 As for butterflies, they are fluttering around everywhere in the summer months and through September.

Not all of the terraced garden is open all year round but to be honest I didn't have time to go all the way around it this day so I didn't really mind. I did however walk down the Wild Garden which was lovely. I had never been through this part of the estate before. It was so full of  the noise of birds tweeting but also very peaceful at the same time. I have always walked through the terrace or down the steps before so this was really nice and the sun was shining for me too. I saw a Robin, a few Blue tits and a goldfinch but they were all too high in the tree to take a photo and I didn't have my big lens with me. 

Daisy chain anyone?

 I thought the trees in the wild garden looked amazing with the sun shining on them.It made the colours look so rich.

 One of my favourite areas of the house has to be the entrance hall. To me it feels like the oldest part of the house, a little more my kind of thing. It is a room which is so different from the other rooms you enter. As you leave the entrance room you feel like you are walking into a different period in time. I guess really you do as this is where the 1920's influence really starts to stands out. I love history but pre 20th Century has more interest to me. Make sure you take a good look in the entrance hall, the windows are really beautiful and so colourful. Click on the images to view them properly.


A beautifully carved piece of furniture. 

As I entered the big hall, there was music playing and a gentleman was singing. You could hear the music as you travelled through the rooms. A lovely touch to the 1920's feel of the house. One I really enjoyed.


Taken during a music interval.

The Volunteers in the house were great, I learnt so much and also there were a couple of mentions to Charlecote Park. One being the big beautiful 'Pietra dura table made from oak with the top made of Breccia, Jasper and Onyx that sits in the Great Hall at Charlecote. A second table made by the same person sit's in Upton House. This is the table at Charlecote Park. The pictures do not do it justice, it is so beautiful when you see it for real.

For more about this table and how it was made, here is a link to a post Charlecote wrote.

                       Also another link you might be interested in.

The legs of the table in Upton House. Sorry I didn't get one of the top of it as time was running short and too much to see. Another time.

                                 The dining room at Upton house.

I loved the golden twist of this handle

This decanter reminded me of a Bohemian one I have. Beautiful.

The Master bedroom

The bathroom attached to the master bedroom you will either love or hate. I have to say years ago when I first saw it, I hated it. I thought 'how could someone do something so ugly?' To be honest I still don't like it much but I do understand why it was like that. The 1920's amongst the younger richer societies was all about showing off to a point. Strutting their feathers as my grandmother used to say. At least I think it was. Slowly they were getting more freedom from the clothes they wore to the things they could do. 
For a couple of hundred years fashion had not changed much but then you hit the 1920's and dresses get shorter, women dared to wear trousers and the 1920's theatre party time had began. I can see the difference in family photos myself. I have a photo taken of my great grandmother around 1915 in which she is wearing a full length dress with her hair worn long but pinned up in a bun as they wore back then. 10 years later I have a photo of her in a dress to her knees and a her hair cut short into a bob. To change so quickly like that must have been quite a shock for the older generations. 
Upton House shows the 1920's party scene off very well. The bathroom all silver and red to me, is all about the theatre and that time in history. It was a very glitzy party time and that is exactly what this bathroom represents. Socialite spent a lot of time partying and at theatres and got more involved with the changing times It was all about being seen in the right places too. It still is today really for many well known 'well to do' people. 

For a room I was not keen on, I did spend a lot of time there talking to a lovely lady who works there as a room attendant. One of the many volunteers happy to answer any of your questions. The photo about was taken as a copy of an old black and white one that sits in the corner of the room in a frame. 

  The view from the library balcony. This was one of the properties I meant to visit at Christmas but I didn't manage to do so. I was told the Christmas tree stood in that big window and was an amazing sight so this will be first on my list of visits for the next one.

One of the paintings hanging on the wall. I have added this picture because it took me so long to find an angle I could take the photo at without light reflecting on it!

Next for the kitchen. It is a very big room. Something I have always wanted has been a big kitchen and this one is very big. 
I only had a couple of minutes in this room so forgive me for the quick photos but I do intend to come back and take some more detailed photos very soon.

 This room had 3 large tables in, not just one like most houses have.

Can you imagine cooking on this?

Some of the items you would have seen in the 1920's. Many you still see today.

  I will leave you with a few of the paintings I saw around the house and in the gallery. Click on them to enlarge them if you wish to see them in more detail.

The first painting was painted by Pieter Jansz Saemredam in 1655 but his pupils painted the people into the picture.

Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Death of the Virgin dates 1564

I noticed a lot of the paintings had Castles in the background.

This picture a Triptych by Bosch has so much going on in it. Look at the man peering through the hole in the wall.

The last supper everyone knows.

Last but not least this painting Bruegel's 'Massacre of the Innocents' This painting is in desperate need of conservation work but a lot of money is needed to do this. Here is a link to more information about this painting.

                                                    Link to Upton House


                                      Photos Copyright Jana Eastwood