We met up with English Heritage at about the same that they were in the latter stages of planning the restoration of Charles Darwin’s bedroom at Down House. The house is in the pretty village of Downe in Kent and Charles and Emma Darwin moved there in 1842. They stayed there for 40 years until Darwin’s death, during which time, On the Origin of Species was published in 1859.
While Darwin’s atmospheric study and family rooms downstairs had been restored to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2009, it wasn’t until this summer that his and Emma’s bedroom was re-created. We were delighted to help by making a bespoke open-fronted wardrobe for the dressing room. English Heritage then came to our workshops to film the wardrobe being made as part of their film about the bedroom restoration. See the film here
Darwin, it is known, spent much time in his bedroom as he suffered from debilitating illness that would confine him to his room for weeks at a time, reading such books as Lewis Carroll’s Alice through the Looking Glass.
The Darwins redecorated the bedroom in 1858 and English Heritage has recreated it from an inventory. We took our wardrobe there on moving-in day.
We took some time to have a look around the downstairs of Down House too.
And then, we had a quick look around the garden before heading back to Ipswich.