OPP Day 12 – Transfer to London

This is more of an update than a blog post. This morning we said our farewells to Stowe and headed straight to London. Reflecting back on our time in Stowe it was wonderful to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and mass tourist destinations. It really did allow us to get to the core of some of the issues we are focusing on in our program. Continue reading “OPP Day 12 – Transfer to London”

OPP Day 11 – Stowe House

For our final day in Stowe we focused on the potential uses of heritage buildings. We had to select one of two heritage buildings to study in depth and suggest an alternative purpose. Our group selected the Queens Temple that is currently being used as an athletic equipment storage facility. The other option was the Menagerie which I will quickly summarize. The Menagerie was built in 1781 and now holds as the school shop. It would take approximately 1.7 million pounds to fully restore the building. In its current state, parts of the roof are caving in and there are large cracks in the foundations. The Menagerie was initially the private retreat of the Duchess of Buckingham and stored her aviary and orangery. It also functioned as a museum space to showcase the Duke’s collection. Continue reading “OPP Day 11 – Stowe House”

OPP Day 10.2 – Oxford

This afternoon we had four hours to explore the amazing city of Oxford. I am very lucky to have visited Oxford some years ago. This time I was desperate to visit the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museum. This is mostly because I have learnt so much about both museums in my master’s course. I was not quite prepared for the Pitt Rivers to say the least but more on that later. Continue reading “OPP Day 10.2 – Oxford”

OPP Day 10 – Gardens of Stowe

Our group is currently en route to Oxford for an afternoon of exploring the city. I am taking this opportunity to write a quick post on our tour around the Stowe House gardens. They are owned and operated by the National Trust. The house, however, is managed and owned by the Stowe Preservation Trust and Stowe School. Our guide was Philip Clarke who accompanied us on a morning stroll through most of the gardens. We stopped at around six temples and heard a little about their significance and place in the landscape. Continue reading “OPP Day 10 – Gardens of Stowe”

OPP Day 9 -Stowe House

We had a very jam-packed day at Stowe. In total we listened to four lectures and had a very comprehensive tour of the entire house. Whilst I would love to write a little something on each of the talks and on the tour, I feel as though that would be an incredibly long post. Instead, I am only going to write on the tour of the house we had with Susan, a wonderful volunteer. Rather than dates and events, the tour focused on the stories of the house and those that lived within. The house was originally owned by the Temples-Grenville family and was built in the late 17th century and completely rebuilt in the 18th century. Arriving in England as sheep farmers, the family eventually worked their way up the social ladder to become Dukes and Duchesses. Continue reading “OPP Day 9 -Stowe House”

OPP Day 8 -Windsor Castle

Today was a pretty intense day. Apart from around five hours of driving around the lower part of England, we stopped at both the Jane Austen House and Windsor Castle. This post will focus solely on Windsor Castle. Here we listened to a talk by one of the Royal Library curators, Elizabeth Clark Ashby. She presented on the new exhibition titled Shakespeare in the Royal Library. It was a fantastic talk that explored so many elements of exhibition design.

Continue reading “OPP Day 8 -Windsor Castle”

OPP Day 7 – Regency Town House

As well as the Royal Pavilion, yesterday we visited the Regency Town House. The house is a grade I heritage listed building in the heart of Brighton. It is currently being transformed into a heritage centre and museum. The purpose of our visit was to learn not only about the architectural history of Brighton and Hove, but also, the conservation and preservation efforts. Our tour guide was curator Nick Tyson who was an incredibly passionate individual and gave us a wonderful tour of both the upstairs and the downstairs of the house. Continue reading “OPP Day 7 – Regency Town House”