Thursday, July 18, 2019

Anglesey Abbey House

We tried really hard to like Anglesey Abbey, spending nearly the whole day there. In the end, it was just too nouverau riche and too nouveau English (Vicki's appraisal). Traces of the 13th century Augustinian abbey remain, but mostly it is a house renovated and enlarged, since way back in 1926 (CE), by the American Urban Huttleston Rogers Broughton. Long story short is that his English dad, an engineer, immigrated to America, made some money in the railroads, but wisely married into the oil-rich Rogers family, associates of the Rockefellers, Fricks, Vanderbilts, and the like. His American mom took him back to the UK, where he inherited the title that had been awarded his dad, attended Harrow, and spent the rest of his years living the good life, hunting, horse-racing, and buying antiques and art to fill Anglesey. The Trust's consultant had described the collection, we were told, as "desultory and undistinguished," but the Trust took it anyway, apparently in view of the endowment that went with the house, the collection, and the lands. Lord Fairhaven wanted it all preserved as a testament to a way of life, he lamented, that was vanishing. And good riddance! some would say.
Entrance to the house

The only remaining part of the abbey

A reputed self-portrait by Canaletto...very dubious

Lord Fairhaven's American father-in-law was a close
friend and associate of Mark Twain, hence this specially
bound  edition of Tom Sawyer

Interesting furnishings

One of two reputed Claude Lorraines

Lord Fairhaven; he served with the British in WWI; BTW,
Fairhaven, in Massachusetts, was his mom's hometown

Note carved headboard

The Hall of Nudes; he had a fondness for nude paintings apparently inherited
from his mom

The Plywood Room, as Vicki described

All the rooms are named; Cambridge is only a few miles away

Turner's Bristol; I might have been more impressed, but

Then these were on the nightstand of one of the guest rooms

The library, large but not very old

First great house we've seen that had a men's room

The Kindness of Rebecca tapestry, Rebecca

Dining room, in the remains of the abbey

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I don't think I've ever seen that Rebecca scene before! Very cool. Reader's Digest, less so. Ha!