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Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Grange - book launch

Northington Grange today
To Berry Bros & Rudd in St. James' Street yesterday for the launch of The Grange, Richard Osborne and Wasfi Kani's new book about Northington Grange, the house which hosts Grange Park Opera each  summer. The house, currently owned by Lord Ashburton, is of great historical interest and has been through a great many vicissitudes in the 20th century. The book aims to fill in the gaps, with a glorious selection of 250 pictures and Richard Osborne's linking narrative.


It is a limited edition book available only from the Grange Park Opera office (see link below for details).  Handsomely designed by Reuben Crossman, the book is a real international affair as the text was written in the UK, and the pictures were sourced there, Crossman designed the book in Australia and it was printed in China!

Northington Grange was originally a 17th century house, but in the early 19th century architect William Wilkins transformed the brick house into the amazing Greek temple that you see today. Rather startlingly the brick house is still, substantially, there under all the render. Wilkins did not knock it down, but simply knocked it around somewhat and re-clad it in Roman cement. A podium was built so that the ground floor rooms became the basement. During the 19th century the house was extended by Robert Smirke and by Charles Cockerell. In fact the opera house itself is in what was originally Cockerell's orangery (later transformed into an art gallery). The book helps explain, in words and pictures, what life was like in the house's 19th century heyday and why it looks the way it does today.

Further information from the Grange Park Opera website:-
http://www.grangeparkopera.co.uk/inspiration/the-grange-book

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