78 Derngate

78 Derngate

78 Derngate is a Grade II* listed Georgian house in the Derngate area of Northampton, England, originally built in the 1820's. It's noted for its interior, which was extensively remodelled in 1916 and 1917 by noted architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh for businessman Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke.

The rear elevation also features a striking extension with two elevated balconies which, in 1917, overlooked meadowland to the edge of Northampton. The design origins of this extension have been the subject of some scholarly debate and a myth of Mackintosh as a Modernist pioneer in his late career has persisted [Kaplan, Wendy(ed.). "Charles Rennie Mackintosh," Abbeville Press, 1996. ISBN 0-7892-0080-5. page 211.] . However, recent research [http://78derngate.org.uk/hist6.html 78derngate.org.uk – History of the house compiled by Sylvia Pinches, former curator of 78 Derngate.] ] suggests that Bassett-Lowke and Alexander Ellis Anderson (a Northampton based architect who supervised the remodelling) may also have had a hand in the design of this structure as well as Mackintosh.

Between 1964 and 1993 the building was used by Northampton High School for Girls, initially as offices but later as classrooms. In 2002 work started to restore the house to Mackintosh's original design. After eighteen months of restoration, the house was opened to the public in late 2003. Small group guided tours or self guided visits are available and provide an insight into this stunning and rare example of a Mackintosh-designed house in England. A supporting museum adjoins 78 Derngate and is housed in number 80. In May 2007 a new visitors centre at 82 Derngate was opened to provide further facilities and exhibitions for visitors.


External links

* [http://www.78derngate.org.uk/ 78 Derngate website]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/northamptonshire/asop/northampton/78_derngate_feature.shtml BBCi: 78 Derngate]

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