Saturday, 22 September 2012

Havering Open House Day 22nd Sept 12

My son and I set off to visit the Round House in Havering Atte Bower as part of London's Open House Day. On arrival it appears that the round house is open the next day and only by appointment, so a couple of quick pictures were taken and we left.

The Round House, a late C18th oval stuccoed country villa, was built for William Sheldon, and is said to owe its unusual shape resembling a tea-caddie to his profession as a successful tea merchant. From the C18th gentlemen's mansions and parks began to be built around the old village of Havering-atte-Bower, which had fine views southwards across the Thames. In the early C20th the house was occupied by the Revd Joseph Hardwick Pemberton, a famous rose-grower and President of the National Rose Society. Here he grew and hybridised roses, including the Alexandra Rose as well as various Musk and Shrub roses. The adjacent grounds of Roundhouse Farm have the site of a large kitchen garden, now grassed, enclosed with high brick walls.

Round House,Havering Atte Bower
 So we drove down the road to visit Bower House also in Havering Atte Bower to visit which I'm glad to say was open.
The Bower House is a grade I listed Palladian mansion in Havering-atte-Bower, England. It was built in 1729 by Henry Flitcroft. The stable block is separately grade I listed. It incorporated architectural items salvaged from the ruined Havering Palace. It remained a private home until 1976 when it was purchased by the Ford Motor Company. It is currently used as a religious training centre.

Bower House,Stable Block
The reception room inside the Stable Block.
Bower House
 Bower House or "Monthavering" as it was known then is a small country house built in 1729 by John Baynes,a sargeant-at-law and the event is commemorated on a plaque of the fireplace of the entrance hall.

The architect was Henry Flitcroft,designed by Charles Bridgman.

The house is of red brick and has a Welsh Slate roof. Two wings were later added in about 1800 circia.

Fireplace in the entrance hall,bearing the coat of arms of King Edward III. It is believed this fireplace was bought here from the nearby Havering Palace.

Entrance hall fireplace.

Commemorative plaque reads" From the remains of the Royal Palace Of Havering Bower,situated on the summit of the hill,this dwelling was founded by John Baynes, Serjeant-at Law,so that he might retire into sure ease and have pleasure for himself and his friends.
Painting of Mary (wife of John Baynes) painted by John Vanderbank in 1727.

View across Havering from the Grand Parlour.

The Study
The murals of Sir James Thornhill.

View across Havering from the S Bedchamber.

This fire place engraved with 1659 is again older then Bower House and believed also to have come from The Royal Palace. The stonework and bricks are said be be Tudor in age.
We grabbed a free tea and biscuits for which I made a small donation and drank and ate them out in the gardens with the views across Havering and beyond.

Rear view of house from Gardens

Rear view of house

The Gardens
Front of house

Side view of Coach House and Stable building

More of the house's Grounds

The Coach house and stables building is square and has a central ridge from which the belfry and clock tower arises. The clock is a one hand type with a bell to strike the hours. It was most probable that in earlier days the upper floor was a hayloft. Its also believed that the southern part of the coach house provided a two storey apartment for a coachman.

The Welsh slate roof of Bower house
John Baynes died aged 60 after 5 years of Bower House's completion. Mary and daughter Lucy received a substantial legacy. Mary recived an annuity of £300 per year as well as the rents of several farms at Navestock and Ford and the use of a new house at Havering and another at Bloomsbury. The larger part of the estate was passed to daughter Lucy.  

A great day out, will have to visit more next year ......

The Adventures continue on................