Thursday, May 9, 2013

Osterley Park and House.....West London

~The Entrance Steps and Courtyard to Osterley House~
~The lake sourrounding the entrance is a park like setting!~

 ~The back of Osterley House faces a great meadow which provides spectacularf views~
 ~The Long Gallery~
 ~The Library~

 ~The Kitchen~
Gerogeous floors!
 ~Beautiful "old" door in the side of the gardens.~

Just outside of London,on the Piccadilly Line station, Osterley is found! Arriving at a quaint little city station, my journey began!  It is there where I found a beautiful National Trust Home, Osterley Park and House. To me, it seemed as though it was frozen in time and little had changed in two centuries.  I became interested in the house after seeing the period film The Young Victoria. This is a beautiful film about the young Queen Victoria, her childhood, her reign as Queen of England and her love and devotion to Prince Albert and her driving passion for many, many humanitarian causes in her lifetime. Her life both personally and in her profession are inspiring to me.  She was a mother, a loving wife, and friend to her country. Many of the scenes were filmed in the house.  I was so glad I went for I was truly inspired by it's beauty and preservation.  When visiting places like this, history comes alive!  

To get there, I left Kara and Phil's house, walked four miles to the city train station, took the train into London, found my way to the Piccadilly Line (or the Tube) and rode several stops, changed the train again, and got off at Osterley, and then walked another two miles.....but it was so worth it! 

Osterley is a grand Neo-classical palace, set in an idealised landscape.  Osterley Park is an astonishing survival, an 18th century country estate on the western flank of London.  Two extremely wealthy borthers, Francis and Robert Child, and the architect Robert Adam spent two decades designing and refining the house in imitation of classical antiquity.  Most of the interior is just as it was when they lived.  Some of the art has been removed and other art placed there in its place.  The Child family were successful bankers, orginally from Wilshire.  I learned that in the early 18th century many prominent families moved to the west of London where this home is found.  This was my third National Trust Home to visit in England and so far, Stourhead still is my favorite but these homes are preserved and maintained through England's National Trust.  Many of them have beautiful gardens and inspire us all as we visit to go home and appreciate the beauty of preservation and restoration.  

My favorite rooms were the Library, {no wonder}....I love books!  It was light and airy where the other rooms were more formal.  I also loved the bright windows in the breakfast room but it was undergoing was smaller and cheery!  On the ground floor, the servants hall was massive as it must have taken many servants to "run" the house for its mere size. The rooms for the senior staff who ran the domestic household was almost as beautiful.  The floors were beautiful there....Italian stone similar to what people use today. Carpets, bookshelves, and paintings made it feel like a place were these people were welcomed and appreciated.

The gardens were in full bloom with English bluebells!  England is a beautiful country!  If you have not traveled to England and are considering it, you should is so easy!  Get your passport, read, read, read, study, study, study, save for your tickets, plan where you want to go and then do it!  You do not need to depend on a tour guide if you prepare ahead. You can book your own hotel rooms in excellent places if you do your research.  It's a great first country to travel to, especially for Americans, because they speak our language, only much more proper and with beautiful accents and dialects!  If I can help you plan your trip, let me know, I lwould love to......then go to France next! 

I have found that people everywhere are wonderful and we are more alike than different.  God, in His wisdom and goodness, made us this way.  As the song says, Love In Any Language! Kindness and goodness are in found everywhere, in almost every heart.....we just have to empty ourselves of who we are and take that first step to see another person on this journey of life.  May you be blessed today with joy and happiness, my friend, in the fullest measure!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

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