Wrest Park in beautiful Bedfordshire, England, was in a state of dilapidation for many years, and connected to a research facility. Now, under the careful and capable management of English Heritage (of which I am a member), the house and its gardens are looking great:
I came to visit this building during my search for a suitable venue for my wedding, and an open house was conveniently timed for me to visit. If I remember correctly, this house was built in the French style by the de Grey family, but fortunes waned and the house eventually was part of a research laboratory (which last time I visited, was still connected to the main house, and hideously ugly as all Brutalist/post-modern buildings are, in my opinion).
The staircase was lovely, with steps on both the right and left sides, in a style similar to the Victoria staircase at Kensington Palace, but with much more intricate wrought-iron and gold leaf decorations. There were many beautiful oil paintings hanging high up the tall ceilings and carvings reminiscent of Grinling Gibbons work from the late 17th/early 18th centuries.
The house is probably most well-known for being featured in British pop singer Lily Allen’s music video, “The Fear.” Now, more than likely, if you are reading this blog, you won’t be acquainted with this piece of music, so therefore, for you to be able to see the interior and exterior of the building a bit better, here is that video:
The gardens were, at that time, not very well-landscaped, and quiet simple. Since coming here, however, Wrest Park has had extensive renovations to the gardens by English Heritage, and from what I gather, the whole park is gorgeous. Well worth a visit!
For more about Wrest Park, click here: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/wrest-park/