|Ealing's 'Crown Jewel' To Be Restored|
Pitzhanger Manor renovation is expected to take three years
Pitzhanger Manor - the personal ‘dream home’ of one of Britain’s greatest architects, Sir John Soane, will undergo a major redevelopment after securing a £4.42M grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It will be closed to the public from January 2015 - 2018 and works will take place to completely restore the building.
The project, which is being led by Ealing Council in partnership with Pitzhanger Manor Trust, will include upgrading the 1939 art gallery extension and creating a new café in the walled garden, as well as improving visitor facilities and accessibility.
Leader of Ealing Council, Councillor Julian Bell, said:
'' Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery is the crown jewel of Ealing and is a true inspiration with its fascinating history and architectural significance. Thank you to the Heritage Lottery Fund for guaranteeing its future and helping us to open up the house and gallery to more people than ever before.”
Soane bought Pitzhanger Manor House in 1800, demolishing most of the existing property and redesigning and rebuilding it to his own specification. Sitting within Walpole Park and similar to his main London home, the House contains some of Soane’s most impressive interiors, with vaulted ceilings, interconnecting rooms, inset mirrors and stripped back classical detailing.
He rebuilt the house as a ‘sort of portrait’, originally intending it as a showcase for his architectural approach, to house much of the art and objects which formed the basis of Sir John Soane’s Museum’s collections and as an inspiration for his sons to become architects. While the latter did not come to pass, Soane was particularly fond of the house regularly inviting his extended circle of friends and contemporaries from the arts and sciences, to visit him at his weekend home.
He sold it 1810 and it passed through several hands until, in 1843, it became home to the daughters of Britain's only assassinated Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, who was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons.
With the Bank of England and Dulwich Picture Gallery among his many buildings, Soane’s work is internationally celebrated.
The whole project will present Pitzhanger Manor House as Soane intended, restoring the visual power of the building and enabling all visitors to appreciate its quality.
The house and gallery will be re-integrated with the adjoining Walpole Park, in which he used to stroll and go fishing with his friend, the artist J.M.W. Turner.
A major project to restore the historic landscape and build new facilities in the park is currently underway, and Walpole park is expected to be fully restored by the end of summer 2014.
3rd June 2014