Spring Cottage, Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
The weight of historical past is tangible at Cliveden, from its 17th-century arcade – all that is still of the unique home in-built 1666 for the 2nd Duke of Buckingham – to the grand corridor the place John Singer Sargent’s charming portrait of a vivacious Nancy Astor hangs on the wall. It was in the course of the stewardship of Nancy, Woman Astor that Cliveden loved its golden age. It was frequented by royalty and writers, artists and actors. Upon being advised it was going to change into a lodge, Harold Macmillan (usually a visitor) remarked: “My expensive boy, it all the time has been.”
In 1849, Cliveden had its second catastrophic fireplace ensuing within the Duke of Sutherland, its proprietor, commissioning architect Charles Barry (who designed the Homes of Parliament) to rebuild it. The Italianate villa that is still right this moment is taken into account one in every of Barry’s masterpieces. In 1857, the Duke of Sutherland turned his consideration to timber-framed Spring Cottage, which lay inside the property on the banks of the Thames. Initially a Gothic-style summerhouse, it was enlarged right into a cottage, protecting the unique, octagonal vaulted plaster ceiling and including a Gothic-style loggia and turret. The spring close by was thought-about to have rejuvenating powers, and it was a preferred place with the Duchess of Sutherland, who usually obtained Queen Victoria there, the monarch arriving by royal barge.