Monday, June 17, 2024

Inside Radbourne Hall

From House and Garden:

Lady Chichester has fond memories of sitting on John Fowler’s knee as a child. This is perhaps a rather different sort of memory to those who worked for or along-side this extraordinarily talented and influential, yet notoriously irascible and demanding decorator. In 1957, her parents, Major and Mrs John Chandos-Pole, commissioned Fowler to work on the interiors at 18th-century Radbourne Hall, her family house in Derbyshire, and today they are a rare surviving example of an almost complete John Fowler scheme. Annie’s mother Jill lived in the house until she died, aged 102, going to great lengths to preserve Fowler’s interiors. Shutters were kept closed and plastic covers made for upholstery and curtains.

Although Annie admits she found her mother’s fastidiousness very boring to live with as a child, she is now the grateful beneficiary of an extraordinary legacy. When she and her husband, Sir James Chichester, took over the house in 2014, the ceiling of the central hall was sagging alarmingly and the roof required attention, as did the plumbing and wiring. The house also needed to be updated in order to work better for 21st-century living with the addition of a family kitchen and more bathrooms. Despite this, Annie was absolutely committed to restoring Fowler’s work. (Read more.)


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