HORWOOD’S MAP OF REGENCY LONDON

Do you know about Richard Horwood’s map of London? Completed in 1799, it was the most detailed map of the City to date, displaying the footprint of houses, public buildings and parks, even down to contemporary house numbers. A description of the map reads as follows –

Richard Horwood’s PLAN of the Cities of LONDON and WESTMINSTER the Borough of SOUTHWARK, and PARTS adjoining Shewing every HOUSE was produced between 1792 and 1799.  It consists of thirty-two printed sheets displaying an area stretching from the middle of Hyde Park in the west to Limehouse in the east and from the southern edge of Islington in the north to the southern fringes of Kennington and Walworth in the south, a zone six miles across and three miles and three furlongs from north to south.  Each individual sheet is 19 3/4 inches across and 21 5/8 of an inch high; when assembled, the full map is more than thirteen feet (or four metres) across and over seven feet (2.2 metres) high.  Horwood’s was the first map of London to attempt to show every individual property in every street in London, so it’s extremely detailed, even including contemporary house numbers.

Now, you can purchase a copy of the sections of Horwood’s map pertaining to the areas of fashionable London. The two large, blueprint sized sheets (30″ x 44″) show the area from Brompton Row and Southampton Row in the west to Somerset House in the east, and from Bedford Square in the north to Hans Place and Stangate Street in the south.

To order, send $34 via PayPal Friends and Family to london20@aol.com – Price includes the map (two blueprint sized sheets) and shipping. Don’t forget to provide your mailing address when ordering.

ALBERT COTTAGE – ISLE OF WIGHT

Leaving the Castle Hotel, Ryde, Victoria and I headed to East Cowes and our next hotel, Albert Cottage,  once home to Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s younger daughter. The hotel is set in two acres of beautiful gardens backing onto Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s favourite holiday residence. Directly next to the hotel stands the entrance gate to Osborne House, above, still reserved for the use of the current Royals. The public entrance to Osborne House is further on down the street.

The Albert Cottage Hotel

From the hotel website – “Built  in the 1840s, probably by Thomas Cubitt – the then leading master builder in London – ‘Albert Cottage’ was bought in 1852 by Prince Albert to be part of a Botanic Garden development of the Osborne House Estate, and was used together with the adjacent Osborne Cottage by Royal guests. In 1899 a covered corridor was constructed to link the two properties and allow easy movement between them without guests having to brave any inclement weather.”

Princess Beatrice

“This corridor now links the main Hotel and Consort Restaurant & Bar area. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, her successor Edward VII kept both cottages for the use of Victoria’s youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice. In 1913 the Princess moved to Carisbrooke Castle and Albert Cottage was sold to Sir Richard Burbidge, philanthropist Managing Director of Harrods. It was again sold in 1924 to The Hon. Elizabeth Storr, widow of Major L.P. Storr DSO, a war hero killed in action in France in 1918. After later neglect it was turned into a hotel in 1999 and now further developed by current owners HTP Apprenticeship College.”

Upon check-in, Vicky and I were given a two bedroom suite. Vicky’s bedroom looked lovely from the doorway . . . .

And enormous from within. It even offered a sitting area with balcony.

My bedroom was just as lovely, and afforded me views of the Gate. A nice touch – our bathroom shower included instructions.

We had the cozy drawing room to ourselves and enjoyed the expansive garden views.

Some of the other guests were a bit stand-offish, below, but the staff were lovely.

In the afternoon, we made our way to Osborne House for the first of our two day visit to the property. Returning to the hotel that evening, we dined in the Prince Consort Restaurant.

Vicky chose the lamb.

I opted for mussels.

And we split the cheese board for dessert.

Once we had completed our tour of Osborne House, the gardens, beach and Swiss Cottage, Vicky and I headed to the historic town of Cowes and began our sightseeing in Shooters Hill.

Shooters Hill, PicClick UK

As the postcard above illustrates, Shooters Hill has been attracting visitors for quite some time, although today it has mostly been pedestrianized.

Shooters Hill today © Copyright Gillian Thomas

Once more, we were blessed with blue skies and fine weather.

We spent a leisurely few hours admiring the seafront and nosing around in the wide selection of shops. Eventually, we made our way to the Union Inn, which had been recommended to us by our cab driver as the place to eat in Cowes.

From the Island Eye website: “The Union Inn was possibly built after the act of union between England and Scotland, which took place in the year 1707. The pub was a firm favourite of the navy press gang, who used the pub to enlist many young men into their services when the fleet was at Portsmouth.”

As luck would have it, it was a Sunday. And by now, you should know what that means.

More delicious adventures coming soon!

Would you like to experience travel in England first-hand?
Visit our website for a list of upcoming Number One London Tours.

During our upcoming Scottish Retreat in September, we’ll be starting and ending our adventure in Edinburgh – an opportunity for visits to Edinburgh Castle, above, Holyrood Palace and a stroll up (or down) the Royal Mile.

Our week will include a mix of days out and days in, allowing you to experience life in a country house and to explore the rich Scottish history in the area. Day trips will include visits to castles and stately homes, museums, charming time capsule villages and a once in a lifetime Land Rover Highland Safari with your own private ghillie. The Scottish Retreat will offer you the opportunity to see the most of Scotland, literally from its lofty peaks to shining lochs – we’ll be cruising legendary Loch Lomond, too!

We’ll be staying at historic Gargunnock House, a classic example of the gentleman’s shooting box, complete with open fires, flagstone floors, period details, spiraling staircases and Georgian furnishings.

Being a period property, Gargunnock House has a limited number of bedrooms and there are only 5 spaces left on the tour.
Visit our website for dates and complete itinerary.

 

OFF TO CHICHESTER

Our last Wellington archive was located at the Public Record Office in Chichester, West Sussex, where Vicky and I had rented the cozy cottage above.

The cottage was full of charming period details, including the period staircase. You’ll understand why we left our bags on the ground floor for the duration of our stay.

But there was plenty of room outside, as the town of Chichester was literally on our doorstep and the George and Dragon Inn, above, literally around the corner. We both agreed that it looked like the perfect place in which to have lunch.

   Vicky opted for the pie of the day.

And I ordered the ploughman’s lunch. We both had a Pimm’s.

After lunch, we decided that it would be a good idea to explore the historic town and so we set off down the High Street.

The Dolphin Hotel has been a local landmark since 1910, when two neighbouring inns, the Dolphin (1649) and the Anchor (1768) were combined.

Eventually, we arrived at Chichester Cathedral. Construction on the Cathedral was begun in 1075 and it was completed and consecrated in 1108.

As evident in the photos above, the Cathedral contains much of architectural and artistic interest, but what brought us up short was the monument below –

William Huskisson! Who knew?

And nearby, the memorial to his wife, Eliza Emily.

Also a memorial to Sir George Murray, whose Blue Plaque we saw on the High Street earlier.

Next morning, after a cozy night’s sleep, Vicky and I took about twenty steps outside our cottage door to The Exclusive Cake Shop & Vintage Tea Room, where we indulged in scones, a latte (Vicky) and a marshmallow laden hot chocolate (me). Afterwards it was off to the archives for a day of Wellington research.

 

Would you like to experience travel in England first-hand?
Visit our website for a list of upcoming Number One London Tours.

A TOUR GUIDE IN ENGLAND – APPULDURCOMBE HOUSE

So, the Rye Esplanade is also home to the local bus service, as well as to the trains. Victoria had suggested that we visit Appuldurcombe House, and as that was the only thing on our agenda this day, we decided to take the local bus there, which would allow us to see more of the Isle of Wight along the way. Sitting on the top of the bus, we had great views.

We let the driver know that our destination was Appuldurcombe and he agreed to let us know when our stop was approaching.

“So, what’s at Appuldurcombe, then? Capability Brown, Chippendale and knife boxes?” I asked Vicky.

“You don’t know Appledurcombe?” she asked.

“Never heard of it,” I replied.

“It’s been abandoned. It’s a ruin. A shell of its former self,” Vicky informed me.

“Like Sutton Scarsdale?” We’d visited Sutton Scarsdale the previous year, on Number One London’s Country House Tour.

“Yes, except that there aren’t any plans to restore Appledurcombe. They’ve just shored up the shell and you’re actually allowed to walk around the ruins.”

Now this was a new take on the stately home. I sat back and watched the scenery go by – views from the sea cliffs, a handful of towns and villages and a wide variety of architectural styles of houses and shopfronts.

About an hour later, our bus driver let us know that the next stop would be ours. “See there, that’s your street,” he said, as we passed it. “Bus stop is just here. Walk back and down that lane and you’ll find Appuldurcombe House.”

And so Vicky and I set off, eyes wide at the Midsomer Murders look of the lane and its charming houses. So typically English. So quaint.

After a while, the lane began to go uphill. Still, we trudged.

“I haven’t seen a single sign for Appuldurcombe House,” said Vicky. “Have you?”

“No,” I replied. “But the bus driver said it was just down this lane and walkable.”

“Ha! You know what the English are like. If we’d asked if we could walk from here to Edinburgh, they’d have said yes. Never mind that it would take us a week to get there.”

I knew from experience that she was right. But I didn’t think the nice bus driver would have led us down the garden path, so to speak. The hill grew steeper, though you can’t tell by these photos.

“Can you see anything that looks like a ruined house?” Vicky asked.

“Nope. You sit here on this wall and I’ll go ahead and see if I can spot the house,” I told her.

And so I walked up hill, up the lane and around the turn and this is what I found.

A field full of cows. Friendly cows. As soon as they saw me, they began to make their way over to the fence. A litter of Labrador puppies could not have been more eager to see me.

“Vicky! Come here!”

“What do you see? Is it the house?”

“No. Better. Cows!”

Caution: Many Cow Photos Ahead

Bonus – sheep!

Cows and sheep!

As evidenced by the plethora of photos we took, we spent quite a bit of time with the cows – petting the cows, photographing the cows, talking to the cows, communing with the cows, but at last Vicky said, “Well, should we head back?”

“No! Our aim was to see Appuldurcombe House. We can’t give up now. Stay here and I’ll go ahead and see what I can see.”

I walked ahead about fifteen steps and this is what I saw.

I walked the fifteen steps back, “The house is just there, around the bend.”

Off we set down the path, through the wood and a field of bluebells.

It was all a bit Hansel and Gretel-ish.

 Finally, we had our first, up close glimpse of Appuldurcombe.

And then, there it was before us. In all its ruined glory. We were both gobsmacked.

An honest to goodness ruin. And not another soul about. Not another tourist, not a caretaker, not Vincent Price, not even a wicked witch. We had the place well and truly to ourselves.

“Are you sure we’re allowed to wander around?” I asked.

“That’s what the website said,” replied Vicky. “I don’t see that anything is roped off, do you?”

I did not. And so we wandered.

   

 

I don’t know how long we were there, but we investigated every bit of Appuldurcombe, for the most part in silence. It’s very eerie being alone there, among the ruins. It’s a far cry from my usual stately home visits. You do feel as though the house is waiting. For what, I don’t know, but Appuldurcombe still stands proudly, refusing to completely give way to ruin; recalling grander times, listening to the echoes of long silenced family voices, keeping watch over the nearby Wroxall village.

We never did see another living soul.

 

Would you like to experience travel in England first-hand?
Visit our website for a list of upcoming Number One London Tours.