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Report - Steep Park House, Sussex - June 2010

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Hoolio, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Hoolio

    Hoolio 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Yay, finally got to go and have a look at this beautiful house. I won't go into much detail of the history except to say that the house was built in 1904, the work of classical architect Hugh Jokin. The last proper owner was a French born Spanish/English artist and orchid grower named James Francis Walford... apparently his wife, who I think features in many of the canvases left lying around, is still alive at 104 and lives in a nearby residential home. I was really surprised at how bad this beautiful old house has been allowed to get... looks like it's owned by pikies, with the piles of soil and fucked up caravans round the front. Whoever the developer is, he's shit; there should have been quite a lot of money to be made by asset stripping this before demo and now it's nearly all much too far gone.

    Here's a bit more about Mr J F Walford and his wife Muriel from thePeerage.com

    James Francis Walford y de Borbón
    M, #93575, b. 1913

    Last Edited=10 May 2003
    James Francis Walford y de Borbón was born in 1913 at Paris, France. He is the son of Leopold Walford and Cristina de Borbón y de Muguiro, Duquesa de Marchena. He married Muriel Whitley in 1957 at London, England.

    Muriel Whitley
    F, #93576, b. 1906

    Last Edited=18 Sep 2002
    Muriel Whitley was born in 1906. She married James Francis Walford y de Borbón, son of Leopold Walford and Cristina de Borbón y de Muguiro, Duquesa de Marchena, in 1957 at London, England.
    Her married name became Walford.

    and this from a pottery auction site:
    James Walford 1913 - 2003
    Porcelain bottle vase, engraved pattern to shoulder. Made 1948 - 59 Surrey. England.

    Celadon glaze, thick silky glaze pooling darker in engraved marks.Impressed James Walford's personal seal to outside of base.
    H. 15.0 cm: Diam 11.5 cm,

    James Walford perhaps owes more to Charles Vyse than Bernard Leach, in addition to his thrown pieces he is well known for his figurative work. Like Vyse he sort to emulate classic Chinese glazes and forms. He was a founder member of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain. I wonder if this is why the house is known as Potters manor?

    It seems that Mr Walford also had a commercial Orchid nursery at the manor (previously known as Steep Farm as far as I could work out) and Sotheby's sold copy no 42 of his "Book of Orchid Paintings" for around £250 in 1998. At an auction of books from assorted collections by Bloomsbury another copy of the book was sold only last week... I have no idea what it made but the estimate was £50 - £100.

    There is still quite a lot to see though if you're in the area and on balance it deffo was worth the nearly 2 hour drive to get there.

    Visited with DK and bumped into Marlon Bones and Joe there... It was good to meet you guys

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    I'd like to get out a bit more but...
     

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