"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on February 9, 2017 by Sioux under General
1 Comment

 

Charles Darwin’s study at Down House, restored with original furniture including his wheeled armchair and writing board. 

On the right, two (shuttered) windows look east, and Darwin had an angled mirror fixed outside to see who was coming up the drive to the entrance.

Darwin’s greenhouse at Down House where he conducted many of his experiments, including creating a working beehive.

The west front of Down House looks out onto its gardens, and the main block is dominated by the angled walls of the bay extension Darwin had built in 1843.  

On another day where I had more than 2 hours on my break I headed off to explore Down House, the home of English naturalist Charles Darwin and his family. It was here that he worked on his theories of evolution, initially conceived in London. It is not known when the first house was built on the property, but surviving flint walls have led historians to believe it could have been as early as 1651. It is thought that the house was enlarged in 1781, as the owner at the time paid the highest ‘window tax’ in the village.

Born in 1809, Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors. Darwin’s early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Darwin recognised that explaining the evolution of the honey-bee’s comb-building abilities was essential if his theory of natural selection was to be taken seriously, and in the 1850’s he carried out his own experiments at his home at Down House. 

Darwin married his cousin Emma, and together they took ownership of Down House in 1842, raising a family of ten children & living there until their deaths in 1882 and 1896. A mulberry tree which was there when Darwin purchased the property still bears fruit.

Wandering around inside the house was quite surreal,

a pity that no photography is allowed in quite a few of the

rooms.

 

The gardens and outer areas were a treat and I spent

ages near the greenhouse photographing the bees on

the flowers. Despite the fact that there were a lot of

visitors, it was extremely quiet and peaceful, with people talking in very hushed tones.

Charles Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and he was honoured by his burial at Wesminster Abbey in central London. 

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He was apparently a very playful father and allowed the children to slide down the bannisters in the house and showed them how to slide down the stairs on a carpet padded with pillows. In 1907 the house became a girls’ only boarding school. Down House was formally opened to the public as

a museum in June 1929.

 

One response to “A visit to Down House & the beginning of it all….”

  1. Derrick Baney says:

    Great shots and good information – looks awesome -you really are getting about Girl – seems like work is just there for keeping it real

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