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Gothic inspiration at Strawberry Hill House

06 December 2019

On Tuesday 3 December, 20 Year 12 and 13 English students visited the beautiful house of the Gothic writer Horace Walpole.  Strawberry Hill House, near Twickenham, was built in the 18th century and is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture.  

After a coach journey to the venue, girls received a lecture about the Gothic genre, overseen by Peter Howell MA PhD, from St Mary’s University, London.  He offered a fascinating insight into the history of the house, its owner Horace Walpole (1717-1797) the writer of ‘The Castle of Otranto’, as well as a talk on the texts students have been studying as part of their A Level English Literature studies.

After the lecture, students enjoyed a tour of the house, which was a truly unique and inspiring experience.  Highlights included visiting the Round Drawing Room with its strange echoes and the former bedroom of Walpole, where he had dreams and visions that inspired his writing.  After being renovated and restored over the past decade, the house represents the power of determination and imagination.
 

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