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Description - Mounton House: The Birth and Rebirth of an Edwardian Country Home by Helena Gerrish

The most ambitious project of Henry Avray Tipping, the influential architectural editor of Country Life, Mounton was a new country house and garden, designed without limitations of expense to be the perfect expression of his immense knowledge of history, architecture and horticulture. All was designed to impress a distinguished social circle. However, within weeks of its completion, the Great War started. The world of English country-house living changed irrevocably, so Tipping never saw his hopes for the house come to fruition.

Featuring a wealth of previously unseen material including correspondence, articles and illustrations, this book insightfully details the design and building of the home H. Avray Tipping created for himself with the help of the young Chepstow architect Eric Carwardine Francis. It also gives a rich and evocative portrait of Tipping and his friends, with visits from Lloyd George and from Tipping’s gardening colleagues, including Harold Peto, Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson. The grand layout of the Mounton gardens on the plateau above a limestone gorge included a 24-pillar pergola, terraces overlooking the Severn estuary, a two-storey tea house, a rock garden and remarkable and innovative water gardens.

Over time, the house was neglected and the magnificent gardens became overgrown. Mounton could so easily have been demolished and yet, a hundred years after Tipping completed it, a loving work of restoration of house and gardens was launched. The final two chapters reveal the careful adaptation of the interiors of Mounton House and the spectacular remaking of the gardens by the renowned garden designer Arne Maynard, all fully illustrated with plans and striking new photography. This is the story of the creation, destruction and regeneration of a singular vision.

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