Gardens to Gables

English Country Houses in Downtown Lexington, Kentucky

No, there hasn’t been movement at the CentrePit site – there will not be a reconstruction of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) on Main Street. But on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at the Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan House at 210 North Broadway,  I will be talking about my experience as an Attingham Scholar in the 2014 Attingham Summer School in England. Light refreshments will be served starting at 5:30, and the lecture (it won’t be a formal oration, I promise. Just lots of cool photos, and amusing commentary) begins at 6 pm.

Highclere Castle, of Downtown Abbey fame, and home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

Highclere Castle, of Downtown Abbey fame, and home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

Every summer, the Attingham Trust runs a nearly three-week course for museum professionals and scholars from Europe and America. Devoted to the study of British architecture, art, furnishings, decorative finishes, gardens and landscapes, the highly regarded Attingham Summer School is recognized worldwide for its careful selection of students and high academic standards. Last summer, this farm girl from Kentucky was accepted into the prestigious program. I received a scholarship from the Attingham Trust, and a grant from the Edith S. Bingham Preservation Fund at Preservation Kentucky helped me with transportation costs. Preservation Kentucky and the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation are co-hosting my talk.

Belton House, Lincolnshire.

Belton House, Lincolnshire.

The focus of the Attingham Summer School was at once both immediately familiar – historic country homes/estates are everywhere in the Bluegrass! – and discordantly foreign – high-style is the exception, not the rule, in my vernacular landscape.

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, designed by Robert Adam.

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, designed by Robert Adam.

The 18 days exploring, considering, debating (and eating) our way across Sussex, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire (and points in-between) left little time for reflection, other than a rewinding, every day, of a palpable sense of wonder, excitement, and sheer disbelief that this experience was really happening.

Exploring the world of William Morris at Kelmscott, Gloucestershire.

Exploring the world of William Morris at Kelmscott, Gloucestershire.

So if you have the evening free – come drool over some amazing landscapes and enormous, magnificent houses. Transport yourself across the pond for a half hour – and it’s free!

Detail of Badminton House, seat of the Duke of Beaufort.

Detail of Badminton House, seat of the Duke of Beaufort.

 

Print Friendly

3 Thoughts on “English Country Houses in Downtown Lexington, Kentucky

  1. Janet Johnson on July 27, 2015 at 7:49 pm said:

    We can’t make it, but wish we could! Sounds interesting!

  2. I really enjoyed your talk last night at the Thomas Hunt Morgan House. Would’ve loved to hear more about the particular houses you visited. Could you do a return talk and focus on the houses/landscapes that impressed you the most? Thank you.

    • Janie-Rice Brother on July 29, 2015 at 10:05 am said:

      Susan,
      Thank you so much and I am glad you were able to attend! I would love to do a follow-up talk, but that depends on whether the Blue Grass Trust wants to host me again! (And I could probably do 2-3 lectures just on gardens and landscapes…)
      Janie-Rice

Post Navigation