Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Home of Charles Darwin

As we are still paddling through water in the garden
lets return to August and complete the days visits
Having left Lullingstone Roman Villa and our lunch and walk around Eynsford village we are now at Downe House, the family home of Charles Darwin the Victorian scientist.
I am not here to discuss his theory of evolution but to get some insight into his family life

Charles Robert Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire into a wealthy and well-connected family. His maternal grandfather was china manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood, while his paternal grandfather was Erasmus Darwin, one of the leading intellectuals of 18th century England.
Darwin himself initially planned to follow a medical career, and studied at Edinburgh University but later switched to divinity at Cambridge. In 1831, he joined a five year scientific expedition on the survey ship HMS Beagle.

The front of his house

and the back

surrounded by extensive gardens and orchards

Do you see the gentleman snoozing on the chair to the left of the picture? He was in that supine position for the whole of our visit!

The gardens and surrounding landscape were Darwin's 'outdoor laboratory' and provided much of the inspiration for his work

Here and above we see his famous 'thinking path' - the Sandwalk

We are now inside the house and looking at his collection of clocks

and information about his 9 children

the children's home made slide on the back stairs that would be used by staff

A fossil of a Giant Ground Sloth from Patagonia 

A replica of  HMS Beagle where Darwin spent his life at sea 

A life size replica of his cabin on board ship


His study where he wrote his revolutionary book 
On the Origin of Species

A recreation room

Dining room

Sitting room

I do like this little reading table with the books below on a turn table
Of course it's time to make for the tearoom before driving home


Gracie Saylor said...

Thank you for the interesting tour, Barbara. We are still being spared from rain pelting down on us, but our enormous cherry tree has been sending forth delightful flurries of cherry blossoms. May the sun soon shine for you! <3

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I think the fella sleeping is so funn y!

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Fascinating and so elegant. The painted portraits are exquisite.
What grounds, and his 'thinking' path must have been very well traveled!

Terri said...

A very controvertial man, to be sure. I love seeing things from the Victorian Era. Such a sweet time, a slow paced time.
Thanks for sharing your tour.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is a beautiful home and garden. August seems far away at this point but I do know how fast the summer will slip away. It's a cold morning here and it promises to be a wet one, but it is finally supposed to warm up here for us this week. Hope your Monday is a wonderful one there.

Kay G. said...

Love this post!
Love that sleeping gent at the very beginning, wonder if he knows he is on here?
Thanks for this visit.

Lori Zehr said...

Beautiful! I thought the gardens and paths looked so serene. The sitting room is especially nice. Your posts make me miss England!

Willow said...

I always learn so much from your posts, Barbara. Thanks for this informative tour.

Cheri said...

Very interesting and nothing what I thought his house would look like. Great photos.

Bunny Jean said...

Hi Barbara!

You get to visit so many interesting places and I love that you share them. I sure hope the elderly gentleman was just sleeping...

xoxo Bunny Jean

Balisha said...

Thankyou Barbara, for another interesting post. You have so many wonderful places to visit and learn about the past. Through this blog, I am able to see things through your eyes.

La Petite Gallery said...

It was a fabulous tour. Even the ole guy in the chair. I would get goose bumps walking in there.
I am so amaized that these homes still exist. America tears down everything, $$$$. That's what it's about. At least people like Jackie Kennedy were here to fight for Grand Central in NYC. I love England and all the fasinating places to visit. Yvonne

michele said...

Thanks for the tour. I felt like I was visiting in person. Wonderful pictures.

Suz said...

Such a lovely home, really. I love that dining room.

Merisi said...

Elizabeth, this truly moves my heart, absolutely! You cannot even imagine how much it means to see this extraordinary place this special human being and great scientist called home. It's comforting to know that his family lived in such quarters while the husband and father was far away, working on enriching our lives by better understanding science.

I love the children's slide - it speaks volumes, doesn't it?

Thank you, Elizabeth,

Vee said...

Fascinating. Makes me want to know more. I was surprised by how many children lived well into the 20th century. Beautiful children. The home looks very comfortable...I, too, like that well thought out reading table and the furnishings and colors. That stair slide is something else!