Wednesday, 22 January 2014

West Green House

Last Saturday I managed to track down a copy of February's World of Interiors (at a motorway services of all places). I wanted to see the piece about Lord (Alistair) McAlpine's garden in Italy. A fascinating man of wide interests, impeccable taste, and an avid collector etc, etc. I never met him but did take some photographs of West Green House in Hampshire for decorators Colefax and Fowler. Lord McAlpine had rented West Green House from the National Trust from 1976 to 1990.

West Green House is a 17th century mansion built by General Hawley.  He led the cavalry charge at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Lord McAlpine  created a  garden of great panache, a classical triumphal arch has an obelisk on top dedicated to "the first lady Prime Minister of Britain". She was a close personal friend and frequent visitor to West Green House. The house was damaged by an I.R.A. bomb three weeks after Lord McAlpine had left the house at the expiry of his lease.

Driving home later that evening on Saturday I heard on the radio that Lord McAlpine had died. Rather a curious coincidence and very sad.

Oval cushions, painted by George Oakes on an
18th century seat in the drawing Room.

The Garden Dining Room