What Springwood And Eltham Palace Have In Common

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Springwood was built at the turn of the century and its typical Edwardian features of large airy rooms and high ceilings are characteristic of the time and, as such, have proven to be a good foundation for the adopted Art Deco design and furniture styles favoured in our recent refurbishment.

Art Deco has clearly defined visual motifs encompassing rich colours, bold geometric shapes, angular forms and linear decoration. The Art Deco heyday was in the 1920s and 1930s and was synonymous with luxury, opulence and modern thinking; Art Deco represented scientific progress and the consequent rise of commerce, technology and speed.

Art Deco went out of fashion for a few decades, but is now experiencing resurgence in popularity and period art deco pieces, as well as reproductions, are highly sought after; the Art Deco theme is alive and kicking in the south of England!

Regular Art Deco Fairs (plus Nouveau, retro and 20th century) are held in the south of England by Take Five Fairs. A 45 minute drive (33 miles) from Springwood will take you to the small town of Woking which hosts a number of these fairs throughout the year.

As the organiser, Mr John Slade, states “Such is the popularity of our events that some attract over 200 stalls from all parts of the country – the majority of whom have become dedicated regulars at the fairs. For the antiques, Art Deco and Art Nouveau enthusiast a visit to Woking is a must. All stalls are well presented and there are often great bargains to be found. Porcelain, glass, silver, jewellery, coins, clocks, watches and small items of furniture are in abundance”

Art Deco Fairs are also regularly held at the English Heritage site – Eltham Palace and Gardens.

Even if you are unable to attend the Fairs, but are interested in Art Deco then a visit to this English Heritage site is a must! Eltham Palace and Gardens is a 50 minute drive (38 miles) from Springwood and offers a wealth of history including artistic and architectural delights:

“Eltham is a unique marriage between a medieval and Tudor palace and a 1930s millionaire’s mansion”.

  • From the 14th to the 16th century it was an important royal palace.
  • The Great Hall, built for Edward IV in the 1470s, is the largest surviving pre-Tudor aisleless great hall in the country with the exception of Westminster Hall. It is 30.8 metres long by 10.9 metres wide and has “soaring hammerbeam roof and bay windows”.
  • Between 1933 and 1936 architects Seely and Paget were employed by millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, to design and build an
    up-to-the-minute house that also incorporated the Great Hall. The result has been described as “a masterpiece of 20th-century design” and both house and grounds are “an intriguing mix of 1930s design and medieval remains”.

Eltham’s Courtauld House includes outstanding Art Deco features such as the entrance hall (by Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer), the dining room and Virginia Courtauld’s bedroom and gold and onyx bathroom – where the walls are lined with onyx and with gold mosaic tiles in the bath niche. Several rooms on the first floor opened to visitors for the first time in April 2015.

“Many of the technological advances used in the house, taken for granted today, were still rare in the 1930s. Electricity powered fires in the main rooms and bedrooms, two cookers and a fridge, clocks, a built-in audio system, a variety of lighting effects and a centralised vacuum cleaner with pipes and sockets built into the skirting of each room. There was also an internal telephone system and gas-powered heating in most of the rooms”.

As recently reported in the Telegraph newspaper “The glamour of its early 20th century history can obscure its staggering royal pedigree: monarchs have stayed here since Edward I visited the manor house built by a Bishop of Durham, of which some foundations still remain. In its heyday it was one of the largest palaces in England. The last king to stay was Charles I…”

Eltham Palace is justifiably a ‘must see’ destination and is a featured location for a number of films and TV productions – including Brideshead Revisited, I Capture the Castle, Poirot and Hustle.

So, with this in mind, and reflecting on the positive comments made by guests about Springwood’s own Art Deco ‘theme’, why not give us a call and take a few days holiday with an opportunity to explore the artistic delights offered in the south east of England.

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