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The Sandbourne Family Home
The Sandbourne Family Home


Here at Tat, our heart beats for house museums; the undilated joy one feels when inspecting a home frozen in time (if you ignore the fire exit signs) is quite the most thrilling thing one can do with a day. If it does breathe happiness into your being then we are cut from a very differnt chintz.


To many of you, the below will be old friends, but perhaps it's time to drop in on one of them. Even going through the list, I booked myself a ticket to visit the most extraordinary of old friends, 575 Wandsworth Road. Why not take this weekend to experience the delights of Leighton House and its companion, Sandborne House, which is a stone's throw away?



 



Local Tube Station: Kensington (Olympia)


Lord Frederic Leighton, an extraordinary man from Yorkshire, became one of the foremost artists of the Victorian era. In 1855, Queen Victoria purchased one of his early paintings, marking the beginning of his distinguished career. He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts and later became its President.


George Aitchison, the architect of this beautiful home, had never designed houses before this project. Leighton travelled often, bringing home many pieces that are on display today. His journeys, especially to Damascus, greatly influenced his collection, including the tiles in the Arab Hall. Everywhere you turn in this home, you can see the influences of the places he visited and the artworks he collected over the years.




 



Local Tube Station: Highgate


Kenwood, built in the early 17th century, was redesigned by Robert Adam in 1764 for the 1st Earl of Mansfield, William Murray. Located amidst the picturesque Hampstead Heath, the house boasts an impressive collection of artworks by masters such as Vermeer and Rembrandt. William Murray's niece and two great-nieces, including Dido Belle, lived with him. Dido Belle is featured in a painting by David Martin, where she is depicted with her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray. Their story is brought to life in the film "Belle."


 



Local Tube Station: Wandsworth Road


575 Wandsworth Road is a unique Georgian terraced house in London, renowned for its extraordinary interior decorations. Initially built in the early 19th century, the house became famous thanks to the creative vision of its former owner, Kenyan-born poet and novelist Khadambi Asalache. Over two decades, Asalache transformed the interior into a work of art, intricately carving geometric patterns and Moorish-inspired fretwork from reclaimed wood. Every surface of the house, from the walls to the ceilings and even the furniture, is adorned with these exquisite designs, creating a mesmerizing and harmonious space. Now managed by the National Trust, 575 Wandsworth Road is a testament to Asalache's remarkable artistic legacy, offering visitors a glimpse into a uniquely personal and beautifully crafted environment.


575 Wandsworth Road
575 Wandsworth Road




 



Local Tube Station: Hampstead Heath


Architect Ernö Goldfinger designed 2 Willow Road in 1939, which had some pushback from the council for a few years, and finally, it was built. Goldfinger's home is filled with his collections of modern artwork, unique furniture, and a piece by Henry Moore. In 1942, The Goldfingers, Ernö and Ursula, held an auction to help with the hardships during the war, with works from artists such as Moore, Hepworth, Nicholson and many more. 2 Willow Road is now one of two Modernist homes open to visitors in the UK.



 



Local Tube Station: Finchley Road


Freud's family escaped the Nazis in Austria by coming to live in England and resided in the home. The family brought all their belongings, including Freud's famous sofa, drapped with Qashqa'i shekarlu carpet and soft velvet cushions. The couch was gifted to him in the late 1800s as a present from patient Madame Benvenisti. Freud's study is the centre of the home, filled with his antique collection, books and sculptures. There is Anna, Sigmund Freud's wife's collection and belongings throughout the house, where she lived for 44 years to build her psychoanalytic work.



 



Local Tube Station: Greenwich


Once known as Brunswick House, the exquisite Georgian house has been home to many people, from Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester and Francis Hosier to the 4th Earl of Chesterfield and Secretary of State. The Ranger's House currently displays the collections of businessman Sir Julius Wernher, who had an eye for art and treasures. The Ranger's House now exhibits over 700 pieces of grand artwork, including tapestries, sculptures, and paintings throughout time, including Sandro Botticelli. You may know Ranger's House from the Netflix series Bridgerton, portraying the Bridgerton Family home in London.



 



Local Tube Station: Hyde Park Corner


Originally designed and built by the celebrated Robert Adam in the late 18th century for Lord Chancellor Henry (1st Baron Apsley), Apsley House is a significant part of British heritage. Formerly known as Number 1 London, it later became the home of the first Duke of Wellington, who purchased it to help his brother out of financial difficulties. This Georgian home is not just a residence but a treasure trove of history, housing around 3,000 ceramics, sculptures, silver pieces, and a grand art collection. The collection includes works by masters such as Rubens and Velazquez, many of which were gifted to the Duke by royalty.



 



Local Tube Station: Turnham Green


Influenced by his travels to Italy, the 3rd Earl of Burlington built this house in the neo-Palladian style in the 18th Century. He also used the home to host his friends and exhibit his art collections from his travels. The Earl was fascinated by architecture and was thought to have used the influence of Palladio and Inigo Jones while building the house and collaborating with William Kent. The home was passed down through the family, with each person adding ideas and touches. The 6th Duke hosted an event for Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, where Prince Albert was a guest.



 



Local Tube Station: Boston Manor


Syon house was built in the 16th Century and remains in the same family ownership as in 1594. The first Duke and Duchess of Northumberland inherited the home and land, which needed some updates. However, they hired the dream team of the time: Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown for the Landscape and Robert Adam for the Interiors. In the 19th Century, architect Charles Fowler was commissioned to build the Great Conservatory, which was filled with plants worldwide.



 


18 Folgate Street, London, E1 6BX


Local Tube Station: Liverpool Street Station


Dennis Severs, an American who moved to the UK in 1967, brought with him little in the way of possessions but an enormous and fascinating imagination. He began crafting his unique creation at 18 Folgate Street, where he opened the doors to the public, offering immersive tours of his home. His friend and ceramicist, Simon Pettet, who lived with him, also contributed his works to the house. Stepping into Dennis Severs' home is like stepping into his beautiful mind, where influences from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries are woven throughout. This artistic blend creates a whirlwind experience that transports visitors through different periods of history, showcasing Severs' extraordinary vision and style.



 



Local Tube Station: Sloane Square


Thomas Carlyle, author, moved from Scotland to Chelsea in 1834 with his wife, Jane. At the time, Chelsea was not the place to live. However, Carlyle's home was where Victorian writers and intellectuals, such as Dickens and Tennyson, were to be found visiting. The Redbrick house was built in 1708 and is over three storeys; Thomas' study is on the top floor, where he wrote most of his work. Through the house, you can see many pieces made by Jane herself, including a decoupage screen and original chintz curtains, that have been restored.



 


Local Tube Station: St Margarets


Turner's House, located in Twickenham, is a charming Georgian villa that once served as the country retreat for the renowned British artist J.M.W. Turner. Designed by Turner himself and built in 1813, the house reflects his personal taste and architectural vision. Originally named Sandycombe Lodge, the villa provided Turner with a peaceful escape from the bustling city of London, allowing him to immerse himself in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, which greatly influenced his work. Today, Turner's House has been meticulously restored and transformed into a museum, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the artist's life and creative process. The house features a collection of Turner's sketches, paintings, and personal artefacts, providing a rich context for understanding his contributions to British art.



Turner's House
Turner's House




 



Local Tube Station: Hampstead


Fenton House, a 17th-century home, is filled with ceramics, needleworks, instruments, and paintings by masters such as Duncan Grant, John Constable, and many more. The pieces are among the treasures the previous owners, Lady Binning and Peter Barkworth, collected. There is an extraordinary garden to the rear, filled with a rose and a 300-year-old orchard, and the kitchen garden is fascinating all year round with seasonal blooms.



 



Local Tube Station: Hackney Central


Built by Ralph Sadleir in 1535, Sutton House was also known as the 'Bryk place' where Sadleir and his family lived. Ralph Sadleir worked closely with Thomas Cromwell and learnt many languages and skills to help him with a political career later in life. Throughout the years, as Sutton House has been passed down and repurchased, it has entirely a multipurpose function, from a family home to being split in two for home and school for girls to being used by settlers in the 1980s, where it hosted concerts and workshops. The History still stands at Sutton House with oak panelled walls, original fireplaces and the Armada window.



 



Local Tube Station: High Street Kensington


The Sambourne family moved into the handsome house in 1875. Linley got to work decorating the home in Morris&co wallpaper, adding features such as stained glass windows, collected ceramics, artworks, and furniture on tight purse strings. Linley was a photographer, cartoonist, and illustrator, and his works appeared in Punch magazine, so he did not lack a creative side. He also took much influence on the interiors from his friends in the Holland Circle. As the house was passed down, the family kept the home in perfect condition and only updated and added carpet where needed. Linley Sambourne's great-grandson, Anthony, went on to marry Princess Margaret in 1960.



 



Local Tube Station: Cutty Sark


The Queen's House was gifted to Anne Of Denmark, wife to King James I, in 1613 and is rumoured to be as an apology for losing his temper. Architect Inigo Jones, in the prime of his time, was told to create a new palace in 1616. Unfortunately, The Queen, Anne Of Denmark, could not see these works completed as she sadly passed away. However, her son gifted the House to his wife and work was then continued and completed. Today, you can see many works by classical masters such as Holbein and Van Dyck and contemporary artists; one includes the globally famous Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I.



 



Local Tube Station: Green Park


It was built for the first First Lord and Lady Spencer in 1756 in Green Park and is one of the last 18th-century examples of an aristocratic home. The beautiful love story of John Spencer and Georgiana Poyntz filled the home, and they hosted many events at Spencer House during the Season. Today, there is still furniture and artwork from Lord and Lady Spencer's collection, which was seen as a private art gallery for them. Lord and Lady Spencer had three children, one being Georgiana, who later married the Duke of Devonshire; their story influences the film The Duchess.



 




Local Tube Station: Osterley


This beautiful Tudor home was built in the 1570s by Sir Thomas Gresham and further developed by the incredible architect Robert Adams, who was encouraged by the new owner, Sir Francis Child, in the 1760s; Robert's travels inspired the design. You may recognise Osterley House from film and television programmes such as The Crown, Vanity Fair and The Dark Knight Rises.



 




Local Tube Station: Holland Park


Built in the late 1970s to early 1980s, this post-modernist home was designed by Maggie and Charles Jencks in collaboration with Sir Terry Farrell. The house has a character to it as you explore around, being a statement when it was first built and still is to this day. Kept to this day with Jenck's designs of furniture and art throughout the and complemented with works from many designers.



 



Local Tube Station: Holborn


Once home to Architect Sir John Soane, his beautiful house is filled with his findings of paintings, sculptures, and much more from all over the globe. The house museum has been preserved as though he will arrive home at any moment, untouched for 200 years, giving you the chance to enter his world.



 

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