Auckland Castle – Restoration in Progress

As someone who is always in the midst of projects here at the Chancongnie House, I have learned to embrace, enjoy and learn from the process itself.  I relish the opportunity to observe work in progress, so it was a special treat to visit Auckland Castle in County Durham with the Attingham Summer School last…

A Fascinating Visit to Flintham Hall with the Attingham Summer School

The start of the 68th Attingham Summer School yesterday brought back wonderful memories from attending last year.  Attingham was an amazing experience to study the architecture, art, decorative arts, landscape and material culture of English country houses from medieval times to the late 19th century.  It was an incredible opportunity and I am still learning…

The Accidental Peach Tree

The harvest is in at the Chancognie House and I thank you for following the trials and tribulations of cultivating peaches here in downtown Charleston. I received quite a few questions about the peach tree, so I thought that I would provide a short history – like many things here at the Chancognie House, my…

Restoration and Renovation at the Chancognie House

For most of my time here at the Chancognie House, work has focused on restoration – bringing various parts of the house, such as the second-floor piazza archways, pictured below, back to their original appearance.  Recently, as you may have noticed from my posts on Instagram and Facebook, I embarked on a renovation project here…

The Day the Chancognie House Almost Burned Down

Like most early American cities, Charleston has a long history of fires both small and large.  Wooden buildings in close proximity to each other along with fire-building for cooking and warmth were all too often a combustible combination.  The fire of April 27-28, 1838 burned over 500 properties and stopped just down the street from…

An Insider’s Tour of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton

One of the many highlights of my Attingham Summer School experience was the rooftop tour of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.  Rooftop is a bit misleading, however, as we not only went up to the roof, we went inside the roof. Coming from the US, I am always amazed at things I can do in…

Kedleston Hall – A Robert Adam Architectural Masterpiece

Robert Adam (1728-92) is my favorite architect.  To be fair, my admiration for Adam is a recent development as I had never heard of him before I took up residence in the Chancognie House.  The Buildings of Charleston described the house as having “Adamesque” detailing, so after reading that, I started to study Adam’s work…