Hammerwood Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hammerwood Park
Hammerwoodpark.JPG
General information
Type Manor
Town or city East Grinstead
Country England
Completed 1792
Design and construction
Architect Benjamin Latrobe

Hammerwood Park is a grade I listed country house near East Grinstead, Sussex, England at grid reference TQ442389 and Grade 1 listed of historical interest.

History[edit]

It was the first work of the architect Benjamin Latrobe. Built in 1792, it was one of the first houses in England built in the Greek Revival style.

During World War II, No. 660 Squadron RAF operated from Hammerwood Park; also during the War, the Special Operations Executive, or SOE, flew Westland Lysanders from an airstrip north of the park, landing in occupied France.[1]

After World War II, it was divided into apartments, but the house fell into disrepair as the inhabitants left.[2] The house was owned by Led Zeppelin who bought it in 1973 as flats for the group members and their families. It remained in their ownership until 1982.

It was derelict in 1982, with fourteen areas of roof significantly missing. Having been for sale for four years it was advertised in Country Life in June 1982. David Pinnegar purchased the property in July of that year achieving notoriety for his youth and most of his friends and family were said to have thought him 'foolhardy'.[3] The restoration of the house gained the Anne de Amodio award from IBI, the International Burgen Institute (now part of Europa Nostra) and the progress of the restoration received a lot of television coverage, appearing on Blue Peter as well as Coast to Coast and national news programmes.

In 1984, the house was given a copy of the Parthenon Frieze made by Brucciani which is displayed in the Elgin Room.

Hammerwood Helipad
IATA: noneICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator David Pinnegar
Location Hammerwood Park
Elevation AMSL 285 ft / 87 m
Helipads
Number Length Surface
m ft
H1 40 131 Grass

Today[edit]

The house is open to the public in the summer (on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 June until 30 September, with a tour at 2PM) and concerts are held approximately once a month.

Guided tours are far from an ordinary historic house experience and focus upon the historical context of the house, the ancient mythological and religious origins of the Greek Revival, connections with Freemasonry, the Agricultural Revolution, the Picturesque and the "reading of walls" leading to issues of interpretation of the Borghese Vase and the Parthenon Frieze.

Music at the house is at the cutting edge of interpretation, the pianos tuned to an Unequal Temperament known as Well Temperament which composers from Haydn and Mozart to Beethoven and Chopin specifically relied upon to choose the key in which their compositions were composed. This puts chords aurally into and out of focus, bringing a dimension to classical music rarely available to be heard elsewhere.

Recently, the temporary organ which served Londonderry Cathedral for 12 years (whilst its predecessor was being repaired after the Troubles) has been added to facilities at the house and is used in particular to promote the music of the French symphonic writers such as Vierne and Widor.

The house is often used as a location for TV, film, fashion and photography. Major films include the 2007 horror movie Knife Edge and London Boulevard in 2009 starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley. Young filmmakers are encouraged resulting in many shorts having been made at the house. It has provided for pop videos for The Darkness, Victoria Beckham, Melanie C, Prada, fashion shoots with photographers such as Tim Walker for Vogue, John Lewis catalogues and editorials for other magazines.

External links[edit]

References[edit]