It has been satisfying to follow the progress of the re-birth of the historic collection of camellias at Chiswick House. H+R undertook a series of timber investigations of the listed glasshouses hosting one of the world’s oldest camellia collections www.chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk
Interestingly and coinciding with H+R’s extensive work currently and over the years for the City of London on their three wholesale markets at Smithfield, Billingsgate and Spitalfield, H+R have been following the City’s strategic plans. The hope is to create a unified market in Romford but Havering Council have objected about the impact on Romford’s own market which has Royal Charter dating back to 1247 granted by Henry III. This precludes any new market being set up within a day’s sheep drive away, equivalent to six and two-thirds miles. A second reading is going through Parliament!
With the forthcoming marriage of the Duke of Westminster, H+R have been reflecting on some of our jobs for Grosvenor. One such is the old Grosvenor House Hotel which is being re-developed as serviced apartments. 150 years ago, the 2nd Marquess of Westminster had the idea of creating the capital’s first serviced mansion block inspired by Europe’s ‘hôtel meublés’. In 1868 the block was a sensation with shops on the ground floor topped by suites of furnished apartments and a restaurant and coffee rooms. It is reputedly the birth place of the Queen Mother. It’s ‘back to the future’ for the Marquess’s original Belgrave Mansion in the guise of the new Dukes ‘8 Eaton Place’
During the month, amongst a great raft of work, stand-out projects included the historic Grainger Market in Newcastle, the City Art Gallery in Manchester and Gressenhall Rural Life Museum in Norfolk. An interesting connection was established in the world of military music as H+R undertook a series of investigations at RMA Sandhurst on the new band room complex and also at Kneller Hall in Twickenham. This, until recently, was the home of military musicianship since the 1850s. It has now been sold for re-development. A sign of the times