OPP Day 11 – Stowe House

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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 – Gardens of Stowe

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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

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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”