Sunday, 7 June 2015
Our tour of Barons Court House began in the front hall, where Lord Anthony Hamilton, the Duke of Abercorn's brother, greeted us.
The House dates as far back as 1790 and has adapted itself admirably throughout many generations of the family.
When you enter this large hall, the splendid ceiling catches the eye with its elaborate Italian plasterwork.
It was used by the 4th Duke and Duchess, the present Duke's parents, as a living-room.
This hall has six doors leading from it into other reception rooms.
There is an exquisite portrait of Emma Hamilton (no relation) by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
THENCE we moved in to the rotunda with its glorious coffered ceiling.
I gather that this was once a music-room; though today it is used for formal dinners or even meetings.
Yesterday there were four sizeable portfolios of drawings by Sir Edwin Landseer laid on the table.
THE LONG GALLERY is about thirty yards in length.
It faces what is now the garden front of the House; however this was originally the entrance to Barons Court.
This is a bright and spacious room.
Its considerable size makes it ideal for family celebrations, parties and even christenings.
This room contains fine furnishings and paintings, including a commode with the cipher of Marie Antionette.
THE BROWN LIBRARY, leading from the long gallery, is a family room which makes skilful use of subdued and quiet red and brown colours.
OUR next part of the tour took us to the lofty and spacious staircase hall.
It's not hard to miss the massive painting by Jordaens, quite aptly entitled Soldiers Carousing (!).
I've been told that this room can be used for shooting parties and children's parties.
An antique pianola sits directly under the staircase.
THE last room we visited was what is today known as the Family Room.
It used to be the large dining-room, though, with the sage advice of the celebrated interior designer, David Hicks, the room has been "compartmentalised" into different areas and dark green free-standing units.
At one end there is a kitchen; while there is a space at the other end with drinks cabinet and CD player and so on.
BARONS COURT remains essentially a family home and it is delightful that the Duke and Duchess open its doors occasionally for everyone to enjoy and admire.