Organised by the Merseyside Volunteer Fundraising Committee

Strawberry Hill...for ever!

  • Ness Botanic Gardens |
  • Talk |
  • Friday, 23 October 2015 - 14:15 until 16:30

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) who created Strawberry Hill, a Gothic summer villa by the Thames in Twickenham, as his very own ancestral castle, was the son of Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister. He wrote The Castle of Otranto, the first Gothic novel, and although prophesying that 'my building, like my writings are of paper and will blow away ten years after I am dead' more that two centuries later both have survived! The house is now leased and run by the Strawberry Hill Trust and has been painstakingly restored over the last decade.

In his career at the Victoria and Albert Museum our speaker Michael Snodin, the Trust's chairman, was in the departments of Metalwork. Research and Prints and Drawings (Head of Design Collections). He will describe Walpole's collection which was nearly all dispersed in an auction in 1842 and discuss the treasure hunt now underway to discover the missing works of art. He will illustrate the incredible interiors and reveal how mediaeval architecture was the inspiration for the style of the summer villa. The eclectic collection of art, antiquities and curiosities is from every period from ancient to modern and includes a lime wood 'lace' cravat carved by Grinling Gibbons, James 11 embroidered gloves and Dr Dee's mirror!

We are arranging a private tour of Strawberry Hill House, London on 14th April 2016 which includes lunch. Details soon!

This event has been organised by the Merseyside Volunteer Fundraising Committee to help raise money for the Art Fund.

Venue details

Ness Botanic Gardens Neston Road, Ness, Wirral Merseyside CH64 4AY