The House of Agnes, Canterbury, England


Canterbury “The House of Agnes” (“Dickens”)
1918-1921 (1d postage)
Publishers: E. Crow & Son, Canterbury

Google Street View.

The history of the House of Agnes goes back in the days when it was a travellers inn as far back as the 13th Century, and is so named as it was the home of Agnes Wickfield in Charles Dickens’ story David Copperfield. Several passages in the book describe aspects of both the exterior and interior of our historic building.
House of Agnes

The inn was one of a number built just outside the Westgate built during the 16th century to exploit the trade generated by visitors to the city. Those who did not arrive before the nightly curfew would have stayed here overnight. It is a three storied jettied timber framed house with three gables to the street frontage. In the late 17th century the first floor bay windows with round-headed centres were added and in the 18th century two ground floor bay windows.
Canterbury History and Archaeological Society

Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany


On back:
Potsdam, Sanssouci
Schloß. Musikzimmer.

Music Room
Publisher: Staatliche Bildstelle/Deutscher Kunstverlag (which Googles translates to: “State Image Agency/German art publisher”)

Google Street View.

No other palace is so closely linked with the personality of Frederick the Great as Sanssouci. The name Sanssouci – without a care – should be understood as both the primary wish and leitmotif of the king, because this was the place where he most preferred to retreat in the company of his dogs. The king’s summer residence was ultimately his favorite place and sanctuary in difficult times.
Sanssouci Palace, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg

Sanssouci is a historical building in Potsdam, near Berlin. Built by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, as his summer palace, it is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles. While Sanssouci is in the more intimate Rococo style and is far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart, it too is notable for the numerous temples and follies in the park. The palace was designed/built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1745 and 1747 to fulfill King Frederick’s need for a private residence where he could relax away from the pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court.

The principal entrance area, consisting of two halls, the “Entrance Hall” and the “Marble Hall”, is at the centre, thus providing common rooms for the assembly of guests and the court, while the principal rooms flanking the Marble Hall become progressively more intimate and private, in the tradition of the Baroque concept of state rooms. Thus, the Marble Hall was the principal reception room beneath the central dome. Five guest rooms adjoined the Marble Hall to the west, while the King’s apartments lay to the east – an audience room, music room, study, bedroom, library, and a long gallery on the north side.
Wikipedia.


On back:
Potsdam, Sanssouci
Bibliothek.

Library
Publisher: Staatliche Bildstelle

Google Street View.

The circular library deviated from the spatial structure of French palace architecture. The room is almost hidden, accessed through a narrow passageway from the bedroom, underlining its private character. Cedarwood was used to panel the walls and for the alcoved bookcases. The harmonious shades of brown augmented with rich gold-coloured Rocaille ornaments were intended to create a peaceful mood. The bookcases contained approximately 2,100 volumes of Greek and Roman writings and historiographies and also a collection of French literature of the 17th and 18th centuries with a heavy emphasis on the works of Voltaire. The books were bound in brown or red goat leather and richly gilded.
Wikipedia.

Baths, Clifton Gardens, Sydney


Amphitheatre Baths, Clifton Gardens
Postmark & letter on back dated 1911

Google Maps.

The swimming enclosure pictured [on the website] was very different to the one which remains at Clifton Gardens today. Although both were ‘ocean baths’ which permitted safe swimming in the harbour (though the shark proof net is apparently not particularly shark proof today), the original was unique in its design. Sometimes referred to as the ‘amphitheatre bath’, the huge circular swimming enclosure could apparently accommodate up to 3000 spectators on the decks! The enclosure was circular, surrounded by a two storey walkway which connected at either end with the dressing sheds (also apparently two storey). The baths were used for mixed bathing, both during the day and at night.
The Past Present

Sydney. fortunate much beyond all other cities of the Commonwealth in the matter of swimming baths, is now in possession of another bathing en closure of larger dimensions than any previously existing. The Clifton Garden Baths, erected by the Sydney Ferries Co., Ltd., is now available to the public. Altogether the space covered by the structure is 30,000 square feet, and when it is fully completed there will be comfortable accommodation for 5000 people. Two platforms, each 12ft. wide, run round the swimming space, which is circular in shape. Dressing room has been provided for 2000 people. -A special section outside the deeper portion is being set apart for ladies, while another is to be for the use of nonswimmers.
Sunday Times, 9 December 1906

Maison de la Reine Bérengère, Le Mans, France


LE MANS. — Maison de la Reine Bérengère, – Cour
House of Queen Bérengère, courtyard
Note on back dated July 1914 or 1919

Google Street View.

Wikipedia (French).

Berengaria of Navarre was queen of England as the wife of Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval English queens, relatively little is known of her life. Traditionally known as “the only English queen never to set foot in the country”, she may in fact have visited England after her husband’s death, but did not do so before, nor did she see much of Richard during her marriage, which was childless. She did (unusually for the wife of a crusader) accompany him on the start of the Third Crusade, but mostly lived in his French possessions, where she gave generously to the church, despite difficulties in collecting the pension she was due from Richard’s brother and successor John after she became a widow.
Wikipedia (English)

Bérengère (ca. 1165-1230) was Queen of the English as the wife of King Richard I of England. Musée de la reine Bérengère is a museum of Le Mans history located in three half-timbered merchant’s houses, ca. 1230. The museum is located on the old High Street that served to connect all the medieval city, both canonical and aristocratic houses. It is in the area known as la cité Plantagenêt. After being seized by William I of England, Le Mans fell into the hands of the Plantagenets in the mid-12th century. The houses were restored by Adolphe Singher (1836-1910) and acquired by the city in 1924.
CurateND

Château de Malmaison, Paris


MALMAISON (S.-et-O.) — La Chambre de Premier Consul aux Tuileries
Chamber of the First Consul in the Tulleries

1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)

Street View (exterior).

Virtual Tour

The Château de Malmaison is a French château situated near the left bank of the Seine, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the centre of Paris, in the municipality of Rueil-Malmaison. Formerly the residence of Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, along with the Tuileries it was the headquarters of the French government from 1800 to 1802, and Napoleon’s last residence in France at the end of the Hundred Days in 1815.
Wikipedia.

The château de Malmaison, purchased by Josephine in 1799 was, together with the Tuileries, the French government’s headquarters from 1800 to 1802. When Napoleon moved to Saint-Cloud, Josephine stayed in Malmaison and commissioned a wide range of improvements to the house. She settled in permanently after her divorce in 1809 and died there on May 29, 1814.
Napolean.org

The linear and graceful style that characterises the interior decor of the Château de Malmaison is directly influenced by 18th century art but also features the innovative and visionary mark of the two architects Percier and Fontaine. Their style, created from a combination of Antiquity and Renaissance which they both immersed themselves in on their trip to Rome, is reflected in this old residence which became the archetype of consular style. There are no shortage of archaeological and historical references: Doric pilasters and stucco columns in the vestibule, decorative motifs inspired by Roman and Pompeian paintings on the library ceiling and in the dining room, and military trophies for bravery painted on the doors of the council chamber. While the mahogany arcs and columns in the library echo the Palladian-style motifs, the painted ceiling alludes to the literary authors whose works Bonaparte appreciated, and the council chamber with its fabric walls supported by fasces and pikes brings to mind the army tents used to decorate parks in Europe.
Musee national des chateaux de Malmaison & Bois-Preau


MALMAISON. — La Chambre de Josephine. – C.M.
The Bedroom of Josephine

c.1910
Publisher: C. Malcuit

The most significant transformation was that of Joséphine’s bedchamber, which was given the shape of an almost circular tent thanks to a red sheet enhanced with golden embroidery that was hung on the walls. The ceiling was covered in a painting by Blondel representing Juno on his chariot, and the walls were decorated with numerous mirrors as well as eight flower paintings by Redouté.
Musee national des chateaux de Malmaison & Bois-Preau

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Dunheved Cross, Launceston, England


Launceston, Dunheved Cross
c. 1910
Publisher: Francis Frith

Google Street View (current location)

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on pilgrimages. Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type of stone cross

The monument includes a wayside cross known as the Dunheved Cross and a protective margin around it, situated beside a minor road next to the main east-west route, the modern A30 road, on the southern outskirts of Launceston in east Cornwall. The Dunheved Cross is visible as an upright granite shaft and head set in a two stepped base. The cross is a composite structure of three medieval cross parts found in the vicinity, together with a modern lower shaft and lower base step. The upper basal step is a medieval cross base originally located at the Badash, or Dunheved, crossroads, 20m north of the monument’s present location. The upper shaft of the monument was discovered 400m to the south west at Badash Farm and is considered to have derived from the cross base when complete. The cross head was discovered in a field on Tresmarrow Farm, 1.3km to the WSW. The separate pieces were assembled, with the modern lower shaft and lower base, at the Badash cross-roads in 1902. The resulting cross was re-erected 20m further south to its present site when the Launceston by-pass, the A30 trunk road, was built in 1981.

Historic England

Stonehenge, England


Stonehenge – View looking E.
c. 1920?
H.M. Office of Works
“Photogravure by the Rembrandt Intaglio Printing Co, London”

Google Street View.

Skyscape: virtual Tour throughout the day
Stonehenge: To-Day and Yesterday (1916)

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, each around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide, and weighing around 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred tumuli (burial mounds). Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, although they may have been at the site as early as 3000 BC.
Wikipedia.

In about 2500 BC the stones were set up in the centre of the monument. Two types of stone are used at Stonehenge – the larger sarsens and the smaller ‘bluestones’. The sarsens were erected in two concentric arrangements – an inner horseshoe and an outer circle – and the bluestones were set up between them in a double arc. . . . From the middle Bronze Age, less communal effort went into the construction of ceremonial monuments such as Stonehenge and more on activities such as the creation of fields. . . .The earliest surviving written references to Stonehenge date from the medieval period, and from the 14th century onwards there are increasing references to Stonehenge and drawings and paintings of it.
English Heritage

The modern story of restorations at Stonehenge begins in 1880 when the site was surveyed by William Flinders-Petrie, who also established the numbering system for the stones that is in use to this day. The very first documented intervention to prevent stone collapse at Stonehenge happened in 1881 and is described here by Simon Banton. In 1893, the Inspector of Ancient Monuments determined that several stones were in in danger of falling and he was subsequently proved correct when stone 22 collapsed in a New Year’s Eve storm on 31 December 1900. The stone remained intact and was not damaged, but lintel-122 broke into two pieces with such a shock that a fragment was found 81 ft away. They were the first stones to fall since 1797 (after a rapid thaw succeeded a hard frost) and, as the guardian of the site was ill at the time, Sir Edmund Antrobus paid for a police constable to keep sightseers in order.
Silent Earth: Restorations at Stonehenge


“Stonehenge: Stones being repositioned during restoration work (1914)”


Stonehenge – Part of outer circle with Friars Heel
c. 1920?
H.M. Office of Works
“Photogravure by The Vandyck Printers Ltd, Bristol & London”

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England


On back:
Blenheim Palace, and Gardens
c.1910
Publisher: Taunt & Co

Google Maps.
Website.

Virtual tour

Blenheim Palace, near Oxford, stands in a romantic park created by the famous landscape gardener ‘Capability’ Brown. It was presented by the English nation to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory in 1704 over French and Bavarian troops. Built between 1705 and 1722 and characterized by an eclectic style and a return to national roots, it is a perfect example of an 18th-century princely dwelling.
UNESCO World Heritage listing

Blenheim Palace is a country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England’s largest houses, was built between 1705 and 1722, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The palace is named after the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, and thus ultimately after Blindheim (also known as Blenheim) in Bavaria. It was originally intended to be a reward to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough for his military triumphs against the French and Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the Battle of Blenheim. The land was given as a gift, and construction began in 1705, with some financial support from Queen Anne.
Wikipedia.

In the winter of 1704-5 John Churchill, duke of Marlborough engaged Sir John Vanbrugh to build a house in Woodstock Park, and together they chose a site overlooking the Glyme valley opposite the old royal palace. From the first, in accordance with the queen’s wishes, the house was called Blenheim. The foundation stone was laid on 18 June 1705 on a site prepared by the royal gardener Henry Wise. Building continued at the Crown’s expense until 1712, when, after the Marlboroughs had lost favour, the Treasury ceased to provide funds. On the queen’s death in 1714 the Marlboroughs returned from voluntary exile, but little was done until debts to Blenheim workmen were partially settled in 1716. Building then continued at the Marlboroughs’ expense, and the family took up residence in 1719. After the duke’s death in 1722 Sarah, duchess of Marlborough, completed the chief features of Vanbrugh’s house plan, together with outworks such as the Grand Bridge, the Triumphal Arch, and the Column of Victory. Her work was substantially complete by the early 1730s
A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock (includes a floor plan)


Blenheim Palace, Italian Gardens
c.1910
Publisher: Taunt & Co