brianaw

06 Oct 2011 273 views
 
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photoblog image Shugborough 4/7

Shugborough 4/7

The Chinese House


The North Walk path forms part of Thomas Anson's layout, and its original state was serpentine and gravelled with wide grass verges and flanking beds of shrubs and rare trees interspersed with antique sculpture. It leads to the Chinese House, completed in 1747 and probably the first of Thomas Anson's garden buildings.

 

The design for the Chinese House was taken from the pencil sketches of Sir Piercy Brett, Admiral Anson's second-in-command on the Centurion. It must have been constructed shortly after the Admiral's return, making it one of the earliest buildings of Chinese influence in the country, a precursor of the Chinese 'Pavilion' at Kew. The watercolour by Moses Griffith, 1780, shows the outside of the Chinese House looking very similar to its present appearance but coloured pale blue and white. The colour scheme within survives, with its pale green canopy, gilt monkeys and alcoves with red lacquer fretwork and gilded details.

 

The Chinese House was built on an island in an artificial canal, with a boathouse attached. It was reached by a pair of bridges of Chinese design. This arrangement was altered during the rerouting of the Sow after the flooding of 1795 which left the Chinese House standing on a little promontory with only one bridge, rebuilt in iron, leading to the newly made island. The bridge, painted a bright Chinese red, was erected in 1813 by Charles Heywood.

 

In 1885 the contents of the Chinese House, the plaster ceiling, four painted mirror pictures, fret tables, rushbottom chairs and porcelain were removed to the house for safekeeping.  The planting hereabouts in Thomas Anson's day included clumps oflarches, known as 'Indian Trees', but these have all disappeared. Nevertheless, the planting round the Chinese House is still deliberately oriental in feel, with tree peonies, bamboo, azaleas, Viburnum davidi, Osmanthus delavayi, Rodgersia aesculifolia, Ligustrum quihoui and Ligustrum lucidum.

Shugborough 4/7

The Chinese House


The North Walk path forms part of Thomas Anson's layout, and its original state was serpentine and gravelled with wide grass verges and flanking beds of shrubs and rare trees interspersed with antique sculpture. It leads to the Chinese House, completed in 1747 and probably the first of Thomas Anson's garden buildings.

 

The design for the Chinese House was taken from the pencil sketches of Sir Piercy Brett, Admiral Anson's second-in-command on the Centurion. It must have been constructed shortly after the Admiral's return, making it one of the earliest buildings of Chinese influence in the country, a precursor of the Chinese 'Pavilion' at Kew. The watercolour by Moses Griffith, 1780, shows the outside of the Chinese House looking very similar to its present appearance but coloured pale blue and white. The colour scheme within survives, with its pale green canopy, gilt monkeys and alcoves with red lacquer fretwork and gilded details.

 

The Chinese House was built on an island in an artificial canal, with a boathouse attached. It was reached by a pair of bridges of Chinese design. This arrangement was altered during the rerouting of the Sow after the flooding of 1795 which left the Chinese House standing on a little promontory with only one bridge, rebuilt in iron, leading to the newly made island. The bridge, painted a bright Chinese red, was erected in 1813 by Charles Heywood.

 

In 1885 the contents of the Chinese House, the plaster ceiling, four painted mirror pictures, fret tables, rushbottom chairs and porcelain were removed to the house for safekeeping.  The planting hereabouts in Thomas Anson's day included clumps oflarches, known as 'Indian Trees', but these have all disappeared. Nevertheless, the planting round the Chinese House is still deliberately oriental in feel, with tree peonies, bamboo, azaleas, Viburnum davidi, Osmanthus delavayi, Rodgersia aesculifolia, Ligustrum quihoui and Ligustrum lucidum.

comments (21)

  • Debb
  • United Kingdom
  • 6 Oct 2011, 02:32
Beautiful. great colours and lovely reflection. And a nice little history lesson to boot.
Brian Walbey: Many thanks Debb.
The color of that little bridge is stunning! What a beautiful photo!
Brian Walbey: Many thanks Elizabeth.
This is rich with colour Brian... and great reflections as well....petersmile
Brian Walbey: Many thanks Peter.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 6 Oct 2011, 07:20
Serious choccie-box here, Brian.
Brian Walbey: Thanks Ray.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 6 Oct 2011, 07:51
I like the colour of the bridge: it mirrors the changing hues of the leaves
Brian Walbey: I bet it looks even better now the leaves have turned a bit more.
This is a lovely picture Brian and an excellent composition.
Brian Walbey: Thanks Bill, one of those opportunities one really hopes to get, although this has probably been done loads of times before.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 6 Oct 2011, 08:35
Stunning I love the red bridge great photo Brian
Brian Walbey: Thanks vintage.
charming spot. that red bridge definitely accentuates the chinese connection
Brian Walbey: One of those photo opportunities one can't avoid taking Ayush.
A teriffic shot Brian. The bridge is wonderful, and the reflections in the water are beautiful.
Brian Walbey: Many thanks Frances.
that red bridge just jumps out of the photo
Brian Walbey: Yes it actually overpowers the main subject of the pavilion doesn't it.
The red bridge is the star in this shot. One hardly notices the building.
Brian Walbey: I quite agree Mary, I couldn't avoid taking ti this way though, a great opportunity.
Very nice picture Brian, I do like oriental architecture and gardens.
Brian Walbey: Many thanks Frank.
Brian, I read that T. Anson succeedded to the vast fortune of Spanish treasure amased by his admiral brother, George Anson. This enabled him to indulge his passion for architecture at Shugborouh. Maybe we are to get credit for this in order to have a drink at that wondefull place...ja,ja.
Brian Walbey: Couldn't agree more Juan, thanks for your comment.
  • Linda
  • United Kingdom
  • 6 Oct 2011, 13:02
The bridge and its reflection look fantastic Brian smile
Brian Walbey: Thanks Linda.
I imagine this scene has been painted & photographed countless times, Brian. You've done a superb job of capturing the beauty & serenity of the place. The vivid colours reflected in the calm water are stunning.
Brian Walbey: Thanks Beverly, I guess there is almost a hollow in the ground where countless snappers have stood to take this smile
A very pretty setting isn't it. Delightful Brian
Brian Walbey: Thanks Janet, yes it is very nice.
  • Chad Doveton
  • Where latitude and longitude meet.
  • 6 Oct 2011, 18:07
Red and green are always good together being complimentary colours Brian. The reflection of the bridge is sublime.
Brian Walbey: Many thanks Chad.
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 6 Oct 2011, 18:44
Whata glorious setting. I thought it all looks very Chinese when I first saw it and now reading your note I know why smile I like your POV and the glorious reflections you've captured.
Brian Walbey: Thanks Alan, I guess many hundreds have taken this shot before me though.
Looks like a lovely place to wander about. Great shot Brian.
Brian Walbey: It is a lovely place Jacquelyn, not only the grounds but the house as well.
the colour so enhances the reflection... very nice!
Brian Walbey: Many thanks Sesan.
Nice shot, the bridge certainly stands out.
Brian Walbey: Thanks John, I was lucky that day, not too many ripples.

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camera Olympus E-450
exposure mode program mode
shutterspeed 1/160s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO200
focal length 18.0mm
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