Five Must-See Stately Homes in London with Dr. Alan Montgomery
Can't make this time?
A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.
Perhaps surprisingly, a number of fine stately homes can be found within the city of London. Once situated in open countryside, their estates were slowly swallowed up by sprawling suburbs. Now, these grand historic mansions and their elegant gardens survive as havens of peace and tranquillity in the busy modern-day capital. During our time together, we will virtually examine five must-see manors, accompanied by a local historian.
Eltham Palace, for example, the childhood home of King Henry VIII was once one of the grandest royal residences in England. Later falling into ruins, it was rebuilt and extended into a glamourous Art Deco mansion by the bohemian Courtauld family. Chiswick House, completed in 1729 and recently restored to its original Palladian glory, was largely designed to show off the incredible art collection of its owner, Lord Burlington. Atmospheric Ham House on the banks of the Thames dates to the seventeenth century, its interiors offering a glimpse of aristocratic life in the time of Charles II, while Kenwood in Hampstead is famous for its paintings and stunning interiors. Strawberry Hill, meanwhile, is a fantastical Gothic wonder – covered in turrets and battlements, the home of Horace Walpole evokes the wonder and drama of the Romantic era.
Led by a historian who has lived in London for many years, this interactive seminar will explore a selection of the city’s best stately homes, explaining their architectural importance and discussing their long and fascinating histories. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an insider’s view of some of the British capital’s most beautiful historic houses.
Alan Montgomery was born and raised in Scotland but has spent most of his adult life in London. Having achieved an MA in Art History at Glasgow University, he worked for many years in the art world at both an international auction house and an antique dealer. In recent years he has returned to academia, achieving an MA in Classical Civilisation in 2011, and has recently completed a Ph.D. in which he analyzed eighteenth-century attitudes towards the ancient Roman world. In addition to his work for Context Travel, Alan also writes catalog essays on Contemporary Art for a leading auctioneer. Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2017, his first book, entitled 'Classical Caledonia', was published by Edinburgh University Press in August 2020.