Newsletter – September 2011

September 12th, 2011 by JCope

The Society’s resumed its meetings programme in September with a fascinating presentation by the National Trust’s Michael Smith on the history and restoration of Croome Court.  The story of Croome was about three men – the owner, Lord Coventry; the garden designer, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and the architect and designer, Robert Adam.  Two of these also had links to Hagley: Sanderson Miller, who designed Hagley Hall, was a friend of Lord Coventry and Brown worked at Lord Cobham’s Stowe before he moved to Croome in order to complete his first complete estate.  Unusually, Brown also designed the house but as he concentrated increasingly on the landscape, Adam was brought in to design the garden structures.  Croome’s more recent history proved just as interesting as its construction; after its sale in 1948 the Court was used as a school, by the Hare Krishnas and as a hotel before being bought by the Croome Heritage Trust and opened by the National Trust in 2009.  Michael’s enthusiasm for his subject was infectious and he concluded with a tantalising glimpse of the development of radar during the last war when much of the site became RAF Defford.

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