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  • In the Footsteps of Russell Page

    23rd July 2016Places to VisitStephanie Donaldson

    Last weekend a friend invited a group of us to celebrate a landmark birthday at the former weekend home of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor at Gif sur Yvette, just south of Paris.  The  Moulin de Tuilerie consists of a group of buildings surrounding a courtyard, all set in a garden that was originally laid out for the Windsors by Russell Page.  Now managed by the Landmark Trust (perfect for a landmark birthday!) it is all rather lovely and filled with books and photographs of its most famous residents.  The garden is much simplified from the riot of flowers that the Duke favoured (they were a very colourful couple, in every sense) but the bones of the garden remains.  I’ve managed to find an image of how the garden looked in their time – complete with the Duke tying in some roses and their pugs about to cross the little stone bridge in the foreground. Fortuitously I took a photo from the same point, showing the garden as it is today.  It was a very memorable weekend. www.landmarktrust.org.uk

    Then

    Gif sur Yvette – Then

    Gif sur Yvette - Now

    Gif sur Yvette – Now

    Russel Page’s design

    Although now much simplified, many of the structural elements of Russel Page’s design survive

    Although now much simplified, many of the structural elements of Russel Page’s design survive

    The front door of the main house

    The front door of the main house

    Despite its height, judging from the size of its trunk this tulip tree may have been planted by Page

    Despite its height, judging from the size of its trunk this tulip tree may have been planted by Page

    gate

    The circular building was the changing room for the swimming pool that no longer exists

    The circular building was the changing room for the swimming pool that no longer exists

    Behind the scenes, the greenhouse is still stacked high with pots

    Behind the scenes, the greenhouse is still stacked high with pots

     Good idea - the steps outside the greenhouse have a runnel for the wheelbarrow

    Good idea – the steps outside the greenhouse have a runnel for the wheelbarrow

     

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