Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Osterley Park House..London

Osterley Park is a mansion set in a large park of the same name. It is in the London Borough of Hounslow, part of the western suburbs of London. When the house was built it was surrounded by rural countryside. It was one of a group of large houses close to London which served as country retreats for wealthy families, but were not true country houses on large agricultural estates. Other surviving country retreats of this type near London include Syon House and Chiswick House. The park is one of the largest open spaces in west London, though it is marred by the presence of the M4 motorway, which cuts across the middle of it.
The original building on this site was a manor house built in the 1570s for banker Sir Thomas Gresham, who purchased the manor of Osterley in 1562.  The "faire and stately brick house" was complete in 1576. It is known that Queen Elizabeth visited.  The stable block from this period remains at Osterley Park. Gresham was so wealthy he also bought the neighbouring Manor of Boston in 1572. His widowed stepdaughter-in-law built the present Jacobean manor house there which still stands to this day.

The 1960 film The Grass Is Greener, starring Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum, was set and partly shot at Osterley Park House.