Friday 25 October 2013

Castle Drogo

Another week, another NT property: Castle Drogo this time, a rather interesting NT property in Devon. It's an early C20th castle designed by Edwin Lutyens for Julius Drewe. It has leaked since the day it was built. Not ideal.

I have seen it before the scaffolding went up, and it's a dark, squat place, well in keeping with the surrounding granite landscape of Dartmoor.

Going up the scaffolding tower to the viewing platform was fine until I got about half way up when I remembered just how much I hate heights, but once up the top, it was curious how looking down on the roof work felt like looking onto a film set, or the beginnings of a building being built.

We're due to have scaffolding put up around Croome soon, and coming here made me aware of how much the lighting inside Croome will change once the shrinkwrap sheeting is applied. The view too.

It was also the first day for our new assistant creative director, Ashleigh. We drove down together and this gave me a good opportunity to bring her up to speed with the different threads of our creative endeavours at Croome.

Talking these things over caused me to reflect further on the idea of redefining the country home, and how this is effectively what the 6th Earl was up to when he got Capability Brown, Robert Adam and others in to redefine the idea of a country home prevalent at the time. Whilst we're not about to move walls, add wings or alter the landscape, there is still a lot we can do so that visitors to Croome have a similar experience to the 6th Earl's visitors in terms of finding something very different to what can be experienced elsewhere.

The Earl's visitors would have been met with the most cutting edge, contemporary designs of the day, and of course it would have all been brand new. That's what made it so enjoyable, and such a talking point.

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