Touit to-woo

Cheesy title I know, but bizarrely enough I found myself testing out my Zeiss Touit lenses at Hall Place, a stunning Tudor House and Gardens between Crayford and Bexleyheath and found a great display of display of owls…




The house dates back to around 1540 when wealthy merchant Sir John Champneys, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London, built himself a country house.

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In 1649, the house was sold to another wealthy City merchant, Sir Robert Austen, who added a second wing built of red bricks, doubling the size of the house but without trying to harmonise the two halves built in highly contrasting architectural styles. In the mid 18th century the estate was purchased by Sir Francis Dashwood. It remained in the Dashwood family until 1926, but was used as a boarding school for much of the 19th century.


In 1935 the Municipal Borough of Bexley took ownership of the Hall Place house and grounds but the last tenant, Lady Limerick remained a tenant until her death in 1943, making alterations and beginning the house’s topiary garden of traditional heraldic figures, the Queen’s Beasts.


The house was also used as an American army communications centre in World War II (intercepting German signals). Post-war, after being used as an annex to a local girls school, the building became the headquarters of Bexley’s Libraries and Museums service, until 1995.


Today Hall Place has been restored to its original Tudor and later 17th century designs. Hall Place also has 65 hectares of landscaped gardens and grounds including a topiary lawn, herb garden, tropical garden and long herbaceous cottage garden-styled borders. The former walled gardens includes a tropical house and a large vegetable garden.


In the greenhouses we found the lovely people from Jambs Owls in Welling with their amazing display of Owls (including Barn Owls and Eagles owls).




Taken with my X-Pro1 and X-E1 and Zeiss Touit 12mm and 32mm lenses

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