Thursday, November 07, 2013

The China House

I wanted to share this beautiful little building which I came across on a walk recently. It's called the China House and it is in the grounds of Beckett Park in Oxfordshire. Originally built in the 17th century by Inigo Jones, the China House is small but perfectly formed!. The pagoda-style overhanging roof gives a definite Chinese effect, which is also emphasised by the little white bridge at its side.

The China House was named in the Georgian period. The Barrington
family of Beckett Park housed their fine china collection there. It was also the place where the ladies took tea, inviting their guests for a walk in the park and tea in the China House afterwards. In the Georgian and Regency period the main road to Oxford passed by the China House and the ladies would apparently amuse themselves watching the carriages pass by!

The China House also has a balcony overhanging the lake so that whilst the ladies were taking tea, the
gentlemen could indulge in another popular Regency pastime, fishing. The building was much admired in the fashionable journals of the 19th century and described as "one of the greatest treasures in the way of garden architecture... set like a rare gem in the midst of flowers, with a background of dark yews."


Melinda Hammond/Sarah Mallory said...

What a charming little place, Nicola, thanks for sharing. Definitely one to include in a Georgian romance!

Nicola Cornick said...

I thought so too, Sarah! I could just imagine an assignation in the China House. (All that breaking crockery!)

Helena said...

It's beautiful! The location reminds one how different the volume of traffic would have been on a main road compared to now.

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

I love it! I want one! Talk about a bijou residence.

Christina Courtenay said...

How wonderful! I can just imagine taking tea there and watching the carriages go by :-)

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