Born: January 13, 1904, London, United Kingdom
Died: July 13, 1978, Barbados
Siblings: Anne Messel
Parents: Maud Messel, Leonard Messel
Education: Eton College
Slade School of Fine Art
Awards: Tony Award for Best Scenic Design, Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design
Lived: Nymans, 2 B2114, Handcross, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17, UK (51.05203, -0.19908)
Maddox, Bridgetown, Barbados (13.11322, -59.5988)
Buried: in the magnolia garden at Nymans, Cuckfield, Sussex, England (ashes)
Hidden away in a magical tropical garden by the sea on Barbados’s west coast, this beautiful coral stone home with its pillared terrace and peaked roof looks like something out of a fairy tale.
Address: Maddox, Bridgetown, Barbados (13.11322, -59.5988)
Type: Guest facility (open to public)
Restored in 1964, Design by Oliver Messel (1904-1978)
Oliver Messel bought a small, dilapidated house on Barbados called Maddox. This house, of all his masterpieces, maintains a unique reflection of his graceful and elegant style. The four bedrooms in Maddox include a king-sized master suite, a queen-size room, and a twin-bedded room on the first floor, with another twin, four-poster bedroom on the ground level. A fifth bedroom, in the charming cottage on the grounds, has a queen-sized bedroom with a bath and a small kitchen. Two spacious reception areas open onto the gardens. There is a morning room that fills with sun early in the day, as well as two outdoor terraces. It is now available for weekly lets; tariffs range from $6,500 to $11,550 per week, depending on the season.
Who: Oliver Hilary Sambourne Messel (January 13, 1904 – July 13, 1978)
Oliver Messel bought an existing house called Maddox, a simple bay house perched above a small beach on the St. James coast. With the help of his companion Vagn Riis-Hansen, with whom he had a 30-year relationship, and a Barbadian staff, Messel gradually transformed it using all the trademarks of his theatrical design: slender Greek columns, flattened arches, white-on-white interiors splashed with bright spots of colour, elaborate plaster mouldings – an easy mix of baroque and classical. It was his use of the materials and traditions of island architecture that was truly innovative. Wealthy friends clamoured for Messel to design houses for them, both on Barbados and Mustique, and thus began what architect Barbara Hill described as “his work … of converting quite ordinary houses into wonderlands.” As well as his own home, Maddox, he re-designed and supervised the renovations of Leamington House and Pavilion (for the Heinz family), Crystal Springs, Cockade House, Alan Bay and Fustic House. He designed and built Mango Bay from scratch and was commissioned by the Barbados government to restore the old British officers Garrison headquarters in Queens Park, creating an elegant adaptation of it to a theatre and art gallery.
Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228901
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532906692/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZXI10E/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Nymans is an English garden in Haywards Heath, Sussex. It was developed, starting in the late XIX century, by three generations of the Messel family, and was brought to renown by Leonard Messel.
Address: 2 B2114, Handcross, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17, UK (51.05203, -0.19908)
Type: Museum (Open to public)
Phone: +44 1444 405250
English Heritage Building ID: 302776 (Grade II, 1981)
Built in the XV century, Restored in 1890 and 1925-30, Design by Sir Walter Tapper (1861-1935)
There was a medieval house on this site. Some portions of this, notably the XV century hall, survive inside the present building. But that house was largely rebuilt in 1839. Of this rebuilding there survives the north or service wing. This is of 2 storeys and 4 windows. Stuccoed. Slate roof. Sash windows on first floor with glazing bars. Pointed casement windows and pointed doorway on ground floor. The main or south wing was rebuilt by the Messel family in 1890 and again in 1925-30. The second rebuilding was in Cotswold Manor House style. In the late XIX century, Ludwig Messel, a member of a German Jewish family, settled in England and bought the Nymans estate, a house with 600 acres on a sloping site overlooking the picturesque High Weald of Sussex. There he set about turning the estate into a place for family life and entertainment, with an Arts and Crafts-inspired garden room where topiary features contrast with new plants from temperate zones around the world. Messel's head gardener from 1895 was James Comber, whose expertise helped form plant collections at Nymans of camellias, rhododendrons, which unusually at the time were combined with planting heather (Erica) eucryphias and magnolias. William Robinson advised in establishing the Wild Garden. His son Colonel Leonard Messel succeeded to the property in 1915 and replaced the nondescript Regency house with the picturesque stone manor, designed by Sir Walter Tapper and Norman Evill in a mellow late Gothic/Tudor style. He and his wife Maud (daughter of Edward Linley Sambourne) extended the garden to the north and subscribed to seed collecting expeditions in the Himalayas and South America. The garden reached a peak in the 1930s and was regularly opened to the public. The severe reduction of staff in WWII was followed in 1947 by a disastrous fire in the house, which survives as a garden ruin. The house was partially rebuilt and became the home of Leonard Messel's daughter, Anne Messel, and her second husband the 6th Earl of Rosse. At Leonard Messel's death in 1953 it was willed to the National Trust with 275 acres of woodland, one of the first gardens taken on by the Trust. Lady Rosse continued to serve as Garden Director.
Who: Oliver Messel (January 13, 1904 – July 13, 1978)
Lady Rosse’s brother was British scenic and costume designer for theatrical productions Oliver Messel. When he died, his ashes were buried in the magnolia garden at Nymans.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228833
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532906315/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1KZBO/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
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