Monday, 30 May 2011

Pitzhanger Manor

I was fortunate enough to attend a wedding over the weekend in the very pleasant surroundings of Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing. As a wedding present for the happy couple I produced this illustration of the entrance to the building.

Pitzhanger Manor, 2011

The manor was once owned by a hero of mine, Sir John Soane, who was an architect during the end of the Georgian era, and most famously designed the Bank of England (although most of his design has since been demolished). He also designed his own tomb, which was then an influence on Giles Gilbert Scott's design of the red telephone box.

Pitzhanger Manor, 2011

Pitzhanger Manor, 2011 (original drawing)

Along with Pitzhanger Manor, the 'dream house' he set out to build and subsequently used as a weekend retreat, I'd highly recommend a visit to the other house he designed and lived in towards the end of his life which is now open to the public as Sir John Soane's Museum (nearest tube station Holborn). This contains an eclectic collection of architectural features that he liked and encouraged students to draw at the time (something which still happens today). There's also a seemingly empty wood-panelled room which, should you find a helpful member of staff, can be transformed using its hidden compartments to reveal the original copies of Hogarth's 'A Rake's Progress'. If you're lucky enough to have a member of staff explain what is happening in this highly entertaining series of pictures, you will perhaps see why those such as Robert Crumb hail Hogarth as being one of the pioneers of the comic strip.

Both venues are free to visit, although you'll probably want to leave a contribution if you enjoyed them as much as I did.

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