Garsington Manor

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Garsington Manor photographed in 1865 by Henry Taunt

Garsington Manor, in the village of Garsington, near Oxford, England, is a Tudor building, best known as the former home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, the Bloomsbury Group socialite. The house is currently owned by the family of the late Leonard Ingrams and has been the setting for an annual summer opera season, the Garsington Opera up until 2011 when the opera relocated to Wormsley, the home of Mark Getty in Oxfordshire.

The manor house was built on land once owned by the son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, and at one time had the name "Chaucers". Lady Ottoline and her husband, Philip Morrell, bought the manor house in 1914, at which time it was in a state of disrepair, having been in use as a farmhouse.

They completely restored the house in the 1920s, working with the architect Philip Tilden, and creating landscaped Italian-style gardens. The parterre has 24 square beds with Irish yews at the corners; the Italian garden has a large ornamental pool enclosed by yew hedges and set about with statues; beyond, is a wild garden, with lime-tree avenues, shrubs, a stream and pond.

Garsington became a haven for the Morrells’ friends, including D. H. Lawrence, Siegfried Sassoon, Lytton Strachey, Aldous Huxley, Mark Gertler, and Bertrand Russell. In 1916, they invited conscientious objectors, including Clive Bell and other "Bloomsberries", to come and work on the home farm for the duration of World War I, to avoid prosecution. Aldous Huxley spent some time here before he wrote Crome Yellow, a book which contains a ridiculous character obviously intended as a caricature of Lady Ottoline Morrell; she never forgave him. The Morrells moved out in 1928. The house was then owned by the late Sir John Wheeler-Bennett until it was sold in 1981 to Leonard and Rosalind Ingrams and their family.

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Coordinates: 51°42′50″N 1°09′32″W / 51.714°N 1.159°W / 51.714; -1.159