Friday, 18 November 2011

Baron Hill Mansion

I've completed another painting about the old mansion house near where my parents live and thought it was about time I put some of the history of the place down.  There are more photo's on this website which has some amazing shots of the inside not long after it was abandoned. I would credit the author of the pages, but they are anonymous.

The original house was built in 1612 and underwent various changes, some of the dates around the gutterings are from 1835 and most of the architecture is from the early 19th Century.  It was requistioned during the WW2 as accomodation for the polish army (tales of polish soldiers bumping into the Stalin moustachioued local look alike caused much amusement). Fire destroyed the building and it has remained empty and decaying ever since, but has become a valuable source for artists and photographers alike.

I spent many hours running around this old mansion frightening myself with anticipation of coming across a ghost (or the very real gamekeeper) and the place still holds a fascination to me.  I once spent a good 30 minutes nervously pacing as my sister and our friend bravely (studpidly?) explored the cellars and basement.  I was far too sensible and timid to join them, although in hindsight I wish I'd been braver.

Rumours about restoring the old house and converting it into flats have been circulating for the past few years.

Above is my latest painting, which is the view from the opposite side of the first photo (above).  It is much more overgrown now,  this is done using dyes, acrylics, collage and pen & ink drawing. There is a lot more to follow!

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