Thursday, March 05, 2009

Doordling around Ewell - 28 February 2009

Nonsuch Mansion, not even in the same place as the palaceWhat do Tudor monarch Henry VIII and Victorian painter Holman Hunt have in common?

The new, 'old' Upper MillThe answer was in our walk; both are connected to long gone doors within walking distance of Ewell West station.

Where the Lower Mill wasHenry’s doors were on the fabulous Nonsuch Palace pulled down, 140 years after he proudly built the most advanced palace of its time, by a mistress of Charles II. I wonder what public opinion was regarding that!

The pack horse bridgeThe other missing door was on one of the disused huts of the Gun Powder Mills in the Hogsmill Valley, a short walk from Nonsuch Park. This door’s claim to fame is that Holman Hunt posed his model beside it as inspiration for his famous painting of ‘The Light of the World’, now hanging in St Paul’s.

The area is peaceful, within the M25, but feeling quite rural, with a picturesque watermill, tranquil millponds, and lots of disappeared history.

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