The Open House London objective is “to promote public awareness and appreciation of the capital’s building design and architecture, including it’s open spaces. The intention was to open up London’s splendid buildings to the general public who don’t otherwise have access. We saw this as a way of helping the wider community to become more knowledgeable, engage in dialogue and make informed judgements on architecture.”
I mentioned in an earlier post the four properties that we visited this year. This is a brief report on our visit to Spring Grove House, Isleworth an elegant late Victorian house that now forms part of the West Thames College campus.
Sir Joseph Banks, the eminent botanist who travelled to the South Seas with Captain Cook on the Endeavour, leased Spring Grove House as his main country residence until his death in 1820. Later owners extended the property, although the house was demolished by the new owner Andrew Pears, the soap manufacturer, who built the current property. Below is from the Archifacts sheet and history by Peter Rowlands,
Spring Grove House is an excellent example of late Victorian architecture and interior design. The ground floor rooms retain many original features: panelling, stained glass, mosaic flooring, plaster ceilings, and fireplaces.
Undoubtedly the most impressive of the Pears rooms is the Winter Garden. It is structurally most elegant with the oval girders beginning from buttresses that neatly divide the round windows before soaring to the roof. The pièce de resistance, the marvellous, eastern inspired alcove with its wall mosaics and intricate iron work with surrounds.