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Osterley Park & Gardens 12/03/2016

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At just a stones throw away from Heathrow Airport, you will be amazed at this tranquil huge parkland right under the flight path. The National Trust property of Osterley Park on a gorgeous day in march , made for a nice spring walk and a day to try out a new camera . The large house is surrounded by large woodlands with gardens and a large lake with a abundance of water foul including Mandarin ducks and black headed gulls, also the stables contains a small restaurant where you can get yourself a coffee and a bit of cake (bank loan needed).

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When the house was built it was surrounded by rural countryside. It was one of a group of large houses close to London which served as country retreats for wealthy families, but were not true country houses on large agricultural estates. Other surviving country retreats of this type near London include Syon House and Chiswick House. The park is one of the largest open spaces in west London, although the M4 motorway cuts across the middle of it.

The original building on this site was a manor house built in the 1570s for banker Sir Thomas Gresham, who purchased the manor of Osterley in 1562.[1] The “faire and stately brick house” was completed in 1576. It is known that Queen Elizabeth visited.[2] The stable block from this period remains at Osterley Park. Gresham was so wealthy he also bought the neighbouring Manor of Boston in 1572.
Child and Adam
Two hundred years later the manor house was falling into disrepair, when, as the result of a mortgage default, it came into the ownership of Sir Francis Child, the head of Child's Bank. In 1761 he employed Robert Adam, who was just emerging as one of the most fashionable architects in England, to remodel the house. When Sir Francis died in 1763, the project was taken up by his brother and heir Robert Child, for whom the interiors were created.

The house is of red brick with white stone details and is approximately square, with turrets in the four corners. Adam's design, which incorporates some of the earlier structure, is highly unusual, and differs greatly in style from the original construction. One side is left almost open and is spanned by an Ionic pedimented screen which is approached by a broad flight of steps and leads to a central courtyard, which is at piano level.
Adam's neoclassical interiors are among his most notable sequences of rooms. Horace Walpole sarcastically described the drawing room as “worthy of Eve before the fall.” The rooms are characterised by elaborate but restrained plasterwork, rich, highly varied colour schemes, and a degree of coordination between decor and furnishings unusual in English neoclassical interiors. Notable rooms include the entrance hall, which has large semi-circular alcoves at each end, and the Etruscan dressing room, which Adam said was inspired by the Etruscan vases in Sir William Hamilton's collection, illustrations of which had recently been published. Adam also designed some of the furniture, including the opulent domed state bed, still in the house.

Maps & Photos

Osterley Park