Winter 2012–2013

Introductory Image

By the nineteenth century, British country estates frequently used on-site gasworks, rather than oil lamps or candles, to illuminate their rooms. One such system was in place at Cliveden, the sprawling mansion in Buckinghamshire built in 1852 and purchased in 1893 by the American millionaire William Waldorf Astor. Astor spent the years following his acquisition improving its structures and ground—laying out gardens and water features, creating an enormous maze, and building follies such as this “tree,” in reality a chimney in a courtyard at the gasworks where coal wagons unloaded their cargo. Photo Judy Greenway.
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