Thursday, 26 January 2012

Newlands Purple House................................................... the conclusion

Newlands Valley.
The purple house was built in 1881 as "The Newlands Hotel" by a Canadian in the days when horses and carriages travelled over the Newlands Hause between Keswick and Buttermere.

When I last saw it during August 2007 it was a real sorry sight and ready for demolition.

  Rigg Beck was bought for a reported £500 in 1958 by the sculptor Varya Vergauwen and she raised a large family here.
 (Rigg Beck is the name of the stream that flows nearby)
The building also provided lodgings for performers appearing at Keswicks Theatre.

 Among her guests in the early years were Tom Courtenay, Bob Hoskins and poet laureate Ted Hughes who was a frequent visitor.

The site had already been sold for redevelopment before my last visit..... the building was worth nothing.
 The plots situation in one of the lake districts most picturesque but less visited valleys sold at auction for £470,000 ($737,665).

The story of the Purple House wasn't quite over... 
On June 30th 2008 and before the bulldozers moved in it caught fire and was totally destroyed.

The Purple House had gone!  Arson was ruled out...

... the views had opened up... it was built in a beautiful situation on a hairpin bend surrounded by a wonderful landscape and only a few miles from the lovely market town Keswick.
I have passed by either by car or on foot the purple house many times over the years.
I just wish I had taken the time to knock on the door and visit.

Varya Vergauwen who I suspect but can't confirm first painted the building purple passed away during 2010 at the grand old age of 90.

 Wait!... I nearly forgot to show the new building at Rigg Beck.

My trips along the Newlands Valley will never be the same again.

33 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

wow! look at the stonework!!! love it!

Horst in Edmonton said...

Looks like someone spent some serious money to build the new building.

Shaun_ShutterBug said...

Lovely story, and some cracking photos... I dont think a bucket of paint on that old house would have gone amiss..

CameraCruise said...

Great story and photos!
Love the stonework!

Susan said...

Being lazy I am gonna comment once on all the posts I've missed. So lovely where you are. I love the architecture, the nature, the green. And Mrs. Tiggywinkle's! Awesome. Where I'm from in California, we had a darling, quaint shop called Mrs. Tiggywinkles. I love the purple house. Do ya think the ghosts of persons past that set it on fire. A more fitting end than being demolished. Just a thought!

joo said...

What a sad story about the Purple House! Such a shame it's gone! To be honest with you, I'm not very fond of this new stone structure - the purple house seemed to have a soul, and this one is...I don't know... expensive?

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

I think they should have at least painted the door on the shed purple in the house's memory. Wow.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I think the stone house and fenceline is fantastic looking along that bend, but I am sure I wouldn't feel that way as much had I grown accustomed to the Purple House being there all those years.

Bob Bushell said...

Oh, that is a shame, never seen again. Mind you, we can through your images.

phylliso said...

There was heart & soul in the old purple house.The stone house fits nicely in the scenery,but I can understand how you feel about wishing you had "stepped inside" the old house,phyllis

Genie said...

I am one that always wants the old to remain, so it is a heart breaker that your purple house burned down. It definitely had personality. The new building with its fine stonework is attractive and an sure it will be around for many years to come. Loved this post and the one before this. genie

Light and Voices said...

Stunning house. It looks like it has been there for centuries. Alas, the purple house is gone. Bad way to go. You take the most interesting walks.
Joyce M

Kim, USA said...

It's a sad story. For sure that purple house had a lot of story to tell if only walls could talk. The new house is awesome!

SWF

chubskulit said...

Oh, it's very sad to see a home burned down. Love the last shot.!

My Skywatch. Have a nice weekend!

Susan Scheid said...

A fascinating, not to mention poignant, story. A bit of history almost lost, had you not had the presence of mind to be there with your camera!

Sylvia K said...

A fascinating and poignant story indeed, Andrew! I love your pictures! Glad the story wasn't lost thanks to your photos! Have a wonderful weekend!

Sylvia

BlueShell said...

Oh what a shame...
Well, the new building is nice....

Hug you

cathy@home said...

Interesting story and great photos its amazing countryside.
Have a good weekend.

heyBJK said...

Too bad about the purple hotel even though it was going to be demolished, anyway. It certainly had a wonderful view out back!

LadyFi said...

Wonderful shots of the purple beauty!

Still, that new house is very charming too.

eileeninmd said...

Sorry about the purple house, I was going to say it is definitely a fixer upper. But, I really love the stone house. Great photos, have a wonderful weekend.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Interesting story.

Regards and best wishes

Tanya said...

a sad ending for the purple house but at least it was replaced with something spectacular!

JM said...

What a shame! The Purple House was lovely.

Fábio Martins said...

What a day!
I like the details in the last picture

The Glebe Blog said...

Saw it at various stages on my last two visits.I'd heard that actors used to stay there, but never knew who.

Sondra said...

I love the old Purple house...wouldnt it have been a wonderful project to restore it to is original beauty?? The new structure is intersting and will probably last forever with all that stone---The landscape in that area looks LOVELY!!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

What a great story Andrew, bit of a shame about the purple house, but it seems no one was prepared to lavish any tlc on it. At least the new home on the spot is in keeping with it's surrounds, It already looks like it's been there many years.

Anonymous said...

the purple house belonged to my mother in law.firstly as it was made of wood new regulations came in regarding fire safety etc.she understood this but couldnt afford what was needed.towards the end of rigg beck she was too old and suffering dementia and went into a nursing home.before it could be sold someone set fire to it.so now theres a modern place rebuilt on its old land.pity it doesnt match with the mountain landscape though

Claire Sykes said...

Interesting story. Wish I had seen the purple house for myself. It looks like it had a lot of character. Not so keen on the new one.Would have been great if it could have been restored.

Anonymous said...

I was born by the river, in the big purple house, 1956. If there is a publisher out there, interested in my memories, contact my Agent on: 015395 26 006, quoting Rigg Beck.

Anonymous said...

Misprint of contact Number, should be: 015395 36 006, quote "Rigg Beck" and leave your contact Number if there is no answer.

David Blundell said...

Amazing memories. I knew the house throughout the Sixties and Seventies as well as all the Vergauwens.