Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The 'Real' Brideshead

I learned this morning that the 'real' Brideshead on which Evelyn Waugh based his book is not Castle Howard as in the tv series but Madresfield Court in Worcestershire. It has been the home of the Lygon family for 900 years. Waugh was a frequent visitor there in the 1930's and it is generally supposed that the Flyte's are based on the Lygons.

I Wiki'ed it and got the picture and the following:

Madresfield Court is a country house in England, in the village of Madresfield near Malvern in Worcestershire. The stately home, near the village centre has been the ancestral home for several centuries of the Lygon family, whose eldest sons took the title of Earl Beauchamp from 1815 until 1979, when the last Earl died. Distinguished collections of furniture, art, and porcelain are housed at Madresfield, which was rated by Simon Jenkins among the 50 best in his book on 1,000 historic houses.[1] The house is managed by the Elmley Foundation, a British registered charity, and can be visited by appointment only at certain times of the year.

The original Great Hall, built in the 12th century, stands at the core of this building. In 1593 Madresfield Court was rebuilt, replacing a 15th century medieval building. It was again remodelled in the 19th century to resemble a moated Elizabethan house, with the result that it contains more than 100 rooms. The chapel was designed by the architect Philip Charles Hardwick and sumptuously decorated in the Arts and Crafts style by Birmingham Group artists including Henry Payne, William Bidlake and Charles March Gere.[2]. It has been cited as the most beautiful expression of the arts and crafts movement in Britain.

1 comment:

Vivi said...

Clearly a house to visit when next in Britain (although Worcestershire isn't convenient, as these things go, to Brighton, is it?). It sounds simply lovely.