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Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456
HOLLAND HOUSE, Kensington, London. An interior view of the bombed library at Holland House with readers apparently choosing books regardless of the damage. Photographed in 1940. The House was heavily bombed during World War II and remained derelict until 1952 when parts of the remains were preserved.
Holland House, originally known as Cope Castle, was a great house in Kensington in London, situated in what is now Holland Park. Created in 1605 in the Elizabethan or Jacobean style for the diplomat Sir Walter Cope, the building later passed to the powerful Rich family, then the Fox family, under whose ownership it became a noted gathering-place for Whigs in the 19th century. The house was largely destroyed by German firebombing during the Blitz in 1940; today only the east wing and some ruins of the ground floor still remain.
In 1940, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended the last great ball held at the house. A few weeks later, on 7 September, the German bombing raids on London that would come to be known as the Blitz began. During the night of 27 September, Holland House was hit by twenty-two incendiary bombs during a ten-hour raid. The house was largely destroyed, with only the east wing, and, miraculously, almost all of the library remaining undamaged. Surviving volumes included the sixteenth-century Boxer Codex.
Holland House was granted Grade I listed building status in 1949, under the auspices of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947; the Act sought to identify and preserve buildings of special historic importance, prompted by the damage caused by wartime bombing. The building remained a burned-out ruin until 1952, when its owner, Giles Fox-Strangways, 6th Earl of Ilchester, sold it to the London County Council (LCC). The remains of the building passed from the LCC to its successor, the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1965, and upon the dissolution of the GLC in 1986 to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Today, the remains of Holland House form a backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre, home of Opera Holland Park. The YHA (England and Wales) "London Holland Park" youth hostel is now located in the house. The Orangery is now an exhibition and function space, with the adjoining former Summer Ballroom now a restaurant, The Belvedere. The former ice house is now a gallery space
© Historic England Archive
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Royal Naval College, Dartmouth EPW024215
ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE, Dartmouth, Devon, photographed in 1928. This officer training college was purpose built on this site in 1905 to a design by Sir Aston Webb. The college originated in 1863 and had previously housed students in hulks moored on the River Dart. Cadets as young as 13 were trained here in naval skills and leadership. Graduates from Dartmouth provided much of the officer corps of the Royal Navy through both World Wars. The present Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duke of York all attended the college. Now known as the Britannia Royal Naval College, this building still provides a training base for naval officers of many foreign and commonwealth countries as well as the Royal Navy. Aerofilms Collection (see Links)
© Historic England
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Wroughton, Wiltshire US_7PH_GP_LOC209_V_5004
WROUGHTON, Wiltshire. This vertical photograph (taken in 1944 by the US Army Air Force) shows Barbury Castle hillfort, RAF Wroughton (centre), and the village of Wroughton. Wear lines indicate Barbury Castle and the Ridgeway have been used as a thoroughfare by military traffic. There are a number of aircraft in holding areas around the airfield, probably awaiting repairs. Most of the hangars are still extant and now in use by the Science Museum
© Historic England (USAAF Collection)