If you haven’t seen it already, check out Blackheath’s architecture beneath the snow, in the ever brilliant Nasty Brutalist and Short blog. It’s a great piece, and unlike me, Owen actually knows about architecture… He’s written about the Span buildings in Blackheath – I’d always intended to, but never quite got around to it. He also didn’t visit The Pagoda, which is a great shame.
In other furniture-shuffling news, I’ve added a comments section on the right hand side of this blog, so that you can see which posts have been commented upon recently. Bob suggested it, and after this spectacular rant by a ticket inspector on the “How many inspectors does it take to catch a fare dodger?” story, I figured it would be useful to other readers…. The ticket inspector is right incidentally – I haven’t got a clue about how the railways work, and I definitely should get out more… Not sure he’s cut out for the service industry though…
The strange hexagonal house in Blackheath Park has been spotted in a music video. A keen-eyed reader named “Prawntail” wrote:
This house is often used for promo shoots. I attended a shoot here for David Holmes… The lady of the house sits in a lovely summer house in the back garden and watches the ridiculous posturing go on, happy to chat about history of house. Personally I found the interior terribly male. Garden is lovely though.
Many thanks for the tip! You can watch the video by clicking on it, or click on the link here.
The song is called “Sugar Man” and is by “David Holmes presents The Free Association” (C) 2003 Mercury Records Limited.
You might be able to get in on CD from Amazon.
The Bugle had some misdelivered post today. So rather than stick it back in the post box, I thought I’d walk it to its rightful letterbox. The road in question was Blackheath Park, a beautiful private road, originally part of the Cator Estate, and full of spectacular leafy Victorian and Georgian houses.
I delivered the letter, and was walking back down the road, when I saw the most extraordinary house. Number 10 Blackheath Park looks like it has dropped down from out of space in comparison with the properties next to it, but doesn’t offend them, and actually seems to blend in (or maybe the trees around it soften the blow).
The front has a most peculiar spiral shaped tower of steps leading up to a raised front door, combined with a strange little water feature. I did a bit of research, and it seems to have been built by an architect called Partick Gwynne, who died in 2003. According to this article in The Telegraph, it was built in the Sixties:
The best of Gwynne’s houses date from the hedonistic 1960s: Witley Park, where the staircase seems to float; 10 Blackheath Park, where the four principal rooms were designed as hexagons because the owner thought a series of small, inter-linked rooms ideal for parties.
Pevsner described 10 Blackheath Park, with its black slate facings and horizontal bronze-tinted glazing, as “designed to shock”. Though some of Gwynne’s houses have been demolished, most have lasted well, often in the hands of their original owners or of new owners keen to value them. Four of them have already been listed, a record that few of his contemporaries can rival.
Obiturary from The Independent
Had some spare time today, so I thought I’d go and see the 18th century pagoda that the Greenwich Phantom wrote about so nicely in his blog. It really is worth a trip, even though it is a private house, so you’ll have to make do with peering in from the pavement.
There is a huge oval window on each of the two sides that can’t be seen from the entrance. This photo from the terrible camera-phone doesn’t do them justice. It must be a beautifully lit room on a summer evening.
It is quite tricky to find if you forget to take a map (oops), and eventually I googled my way to it with the help of these instructions. Here’s a map link if you’d rather do it the easy way.