Sunday, 23 November 2014

Basildon Park - The Portico

Basildon Park has many secrets to share, and many little details that are often not noticed by either visitors or those of us who are there regularly.


Today I wanted to share some details of the portico here, the staircases that go up to the first floor and the area outside the door to the house that is called the Loggia.


When I took a walk one lunchtime recently, I took a different route than I normally do and left by the main doors and went down the stairs that visitors now, and in the past use to enter the house.  There are two of these staircases sweeping up either side of the ground floor door and up the first floor that is where the entrance to the house is.

This is the ceiling that is above you as you enter, it is often overlooked as you don't look up, you just focus on where you are going upstairs.  Because I was coming down the stairs for a change it really caught my eye.


These wonderful lamps are inside.  I love the style of them.



One of the hidden details are these signatures and other graffiti.  They were left on the columns and pillars by members of the Army stationed here in WW2.  Some are British and some are American and Canadian - as you will see!





As I have said before, I don't condone graffiti at all, but these are historic signatures, quite probably left by men going off to war who may never have returned.  They are also part of the history of the house, so it is important to preserve them.





These are some of the little details that are again easily missed.  Above is the capital of one of the columns.  I believe that this is an Ionic style of column.


These are some details from the pair of torcheres that are either side of the main entrance door.


Here you can see the stairs as they go up from the ground floor to the first floor.  This is looking out from what is now the tea room area, but which would originally have been the servants areas when the house was first built.


Visitors often ask if the stairs are original to the house, as they are not of the style that they have seen before.  The answer is yes, they are totally original to the house and this is exactly how it was designed to be.  They also ask where the cellars are for the servants.  We don't have any cellars at Basildon, that is why the ground floor of the house was the servants areas!

Amy

Just to explain to new readers, I am not compensated in any way for my posts about Basildon Park.  I just do these posts because I love the house and spend a lot of time working there.  Basildon Park do know that I exist because I volunteer with them.

31 comments:

  1. What an amazing place, and lovely photos too.

    Helenxx

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  2. The little details are fascinating aren't they? Because you know the house so well, Amy, you can point them out to us. Thank you! x

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  3. Always good to stop and take a closer look, and I Imagine there will be many more 'surprises' for you to discover over the years X

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  4. Hello Amy

    Wonderful photos and amazing architecure. The ceiling is so intricatre, it always amazes me how how they managed to work so high up.

    I don't think this is gaffiti at all, it's all part of the history of the house and makes history so real.

    Whenever I visit houses I always imagine how the people used to live in those bygone days.

    Thank you for sharing.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  5. The Portico is a very grand entrance, Amy, and thank you for showing us the details. I could imagine Royalty up there waving out to the people! So many grand places in England seem to have been used for the services during the war. As you say, the signatures become precious as part of history and should be preserved. Wish I had gone to see this grand house when we visited the UK in the past.

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  6. Such a grand entrance and a lovely sight signatures and all. Thank you for sharing it always nice to go on a stroll with you.

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  7. You have reminded me of my love for old through your post today Amy! The signatures are just amazing and it makes you wonder about the soldiers who left them. And that ceiling is just beautiful! I could get lost here! Wishing you a wonderful Sunday friend! Nicole xo

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  8. It must be a pure luxury to work in such a beautiful place !

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  9. Wonderful details! This certainly is a great place to work at!

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  10. I'm assuming that the little spikes on the pillar top are to prevent birds from perching and 'depositing'.
    Jane x

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  11. It's the little details which make places so interesting. You must have a wonderful time volunteering there.

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  12. Thanks for your tour of the entrance Amy. It is such a privilege to work in these amazing places and get to see the history that others so often overlook. Take care x

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  13. It's such a beautiful place! I love the architecture and the history. If I ever make it to England, I want to see it in person.

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  14. Such a amazing place
    Clare x

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  15. Thanks for the lovely little tour of part of Basildon. It must be a very interesting place to volunteer. Take care and have a great weekend.

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  16. beautiful! I wonder if in 100 years from now in the future would someone look at the graffiti from now and think it historical? Of course our graffiti is not done by war veterans but it does show our a part of our cultural print.

    loved seeing the photos :)

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  17. Thanks for sharing some unusual parts of Basildon. I really must try and visit one day. x

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  18. This is such an interesting post, Amy. I always enjoy history and architecture and old buildings. The graffiti it really cool to see, although I don't really condone it either. Great post!

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  19. I love visiting places like this and it is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing and telling us the secrets.

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  20. How beautiful - every detail! I love that the signatures were kept, too. They just don't build works of art like this very often any more. It is a delight to have these little peeks at this magnificent home. xo Karen

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  21. Love it! Time to renew our NT membership! I spent a summer visiting places like this as a teenager, I need to ask my parents if this was one of them. I'm very close to Kingston Lacey - if ever you are in Dorset, it's well worth a visit! X

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  22. Such a lovely place to work Amy xx

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  23. Lovely, interesting, post and great photographs. We'll ask for you when we eventually get around to visiting!!

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  24. Interesting details of the portico and the writing on the walls is part of the history - moving as well as fascinating. I've done courses on art and architecture at the local university in Berkshire when we've visited such buildings, but we didn't visit Basildon Park. It would have made a good study. I will have to visit when we're in the area. Can you tell me where the main entrance is located? The one on the Pangbourne Road seems to be a back entrance and closed when we pass by.

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  25. Very interesting. I'm sure there are many little things still to be noticed.

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  26. I really enjoy your posts about Basildon Park and would love to visit one day - my to-do list just gets longer and longer the more I read everyone's lovely blogs! x

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  27. You are so lucky to work in such a fabulous place - and they are lucky to have you too, of course. I love the WW2 graffiti! I forget how these great houses became functional places during the war, full of troops. Really interesting post, Amy. x

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  28. Hey Amy,
    I really enjoyed this. The graffiti is rather poignant. I remember seeing ancient graffiti at Pompeii. And I guess Bansky was once considered nothing more someone who illegally scribbled on buildings!
    I may be being rather thick, because you may have already mentioned it in previous posts, but the first picture. Did they film some of the Keira Knightley Pride & Pejudice here, because the portico looks very familiar.
    Leanne xx

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  29. You know I will have to return again sometime

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  30. Thank you for sharing your eye for detail and providing the interesting historical context - a connection between present-day and the past.

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