At a grand manor house in Ealing, 175 years’ worth of paint layers and unsympathetic renovations have been peeled back to reveal the stunning original design of one of the UK’s most influential architects.
Soane’s house of art and entertainment
Sir John Soane, architect of buildings including the Bank of England and Dulwich Picture Gallery, designed Pitzhanger Manor in the early 1800s. It was a time when Ealing was rural and he used it as his country home. His famous friend J.M.W Turner often joined him for walks in the grounds, now Walpole Park.
Soane also used the manor as a "sort of portrait" showcasing his skills and his art. He regularly invited his circle of friends and contemporaries from the arts and sciences to visit. It was full of dramatic marbling, natural light, mirrors, decorative painting and hand-painted wallpaper.
However after he sold the manor in 1810, successive owners made alterations and additions, hiding much of the unique designs.
Turning back time
Thanks to National Lottery players, Pitzhanger Manor has been conserved and returned to Soane’s original vision.
The site is now completely accessible and new facilities have transformed how visitors and artists can use the building and engage with its history.
Here are some of the things to enjoy at Pitzhanger Manor:
- beautiful hand-painted Chinese wallpaper in the Upper Drawing Room
- dramatic marbling in the entrance hall
- contemporary art in the new gallery with the opening exhibition from Anish Kapoor
- domed ceilings, intricate paint schemes and many architectural elements used in Soane’s later buildings
- a variety of workshops, family activities and tours throughout the year
- a walk in beautiful Walpole Park, which is also being restored with National Lottery funding
Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery reopens on 16 March with a weekend of family fun, from costumed tours to building a time capsule.
Find out more on the Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery website.