Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham, Greater London.
Strawberry Hill House was commissioned in the 18th Century by Horace Walpole, the son of Britain’s first Prime Minister Robert Warpole. The house is well-known internationally as Britain’s finest example of Georgian Gothic revival architecture.
Horace Warpole described Strawberry Hill as his “little Gothic Castle” and used many questionable building materials to create the property, only intending it to last for his lifetime. Instead of stone, the house is built from wood, plaster and paper mache.
The house continues to stand today and with the support of generous donations, many craftsmen have been involved in the restoration works of one of Britain’s best documented houses. Humphries weaving were appointed to weave fabric for the restoration of several rooms, research for which began in 2004. A programme of works still remains in place and Strawberry Hill Trust was awarded the Europa Nostra Grand Prize in Conservation in 2013.
The Round Room
The Round Room houses a 1766 scagliola fireplace designed and built by architect Robert Adam. This was the single most expensive piece in the house when it was made and is the only element in The Round Room that is not curved.
Humphries Weaving was commissioned to manufacture the crimson silk and wool damask for wall coverings.The design was redrawn by the design team from the remaining silk and linen brocatelle wall coverings at The Vyne, Hampshire. This design differs to the damask featured in The Gallery, however is of the same colour and construction.
Project reference: 2108B
The Bed Chamber
Humphries Weaving created the crimson silk and wool damask wall coverings for the Great North Bedchamber at Strawberry Hill.
The pattern has ribbon and bow French influences, and has the same proportions of scale as the original walling, none of which survived. The design can also be seen at Osterley Park and in the Library at Holkham Hall in Norfolk.
Project reference: 2108A
The Beauclerk Closet
One of the rooms restored at Strawberry Hill was the Beauclerk Closet. The closet took its name from paintings originally hung in the room by Warpole’s friend, the artist Lady Diana Beauclerk.
The broadloom (wide woven) floral design originates from a mid-18th century pattern, thought originally for furnishing, but made up as a dress. It was returned from America and now forms part of the V&A’s collection. This document was used as a reference for design and colour matching by the Humphries Weaving studio.
The Beauclerk Damask is an engaged design from the V&A textile collection. The original bears witness to a troublesome warp, with many threads riding the satin ground structure and could have been a Chinese import.
Project reference: 2110