Southside House

Vibrant in brown and green. Thats how I would like to describe my favorite aspect of the brits. Passionate but in a different manner to the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. The eccentric prevails the conservative in style without being vulgar (not that the Mediterranean is the oposite, it’s just a different). Southside House is a perfect example. Located at the south end of Wimbledon Common. On the surface, a grand, typically english house but not unlike plenty of other houses you find all over London. Once through the gates a mysterious story starts to unvail. The garden is partly over grown and partly well manicured. We where given 15 minutes to dwell before the tour of the house. Hiding in the shade under the leaf work by the fountain, flying insects reflecting streaks of sunlight. Walking through the blossoming orchard, statues covered in leaves, it felt like being in a book as it was being written.

We where summoned in the vestibule by a lady for our briefing. It seemed like the guide belonged to the house somehow. We all had to explain why we where there and what we where interested in. I started noticing Swedish details, like Dala horses and old swedish wooden toys. Every object in the house seemed to be part of complex mysteries and stories. Optical illusions, secret doors and hidden rooms.

The house was built in the 17th century and belonged to the Pennington-Mellor family. Hilda Pennington-Mellor married Axel Munthe, a Swedish psychiatrist, best known as the author of The Story of San Michele, an autobiographical account of his life and work. Born in Oskarshamn 1857. Axel never lived there but his children Peter and Malcolm did (and they too frequented sweden very often during their life). Malcolm was a man of mystery, he operated as a spy during world war II helping the Norwegians against the Nazis. He later became a writer and used his story telling skills to diffuse the history of all the strange and wonderful objects in the house. He also had a pet Owl. It was free to roam the house and he would smuggle the Owl to Sweden when he went there for holidays. The stories go on and on. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you ever plan to visit.

 

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4 Responses to “Southside House”

  1. Pappa says:

    Spännande.

  2. Hanna says:

    Fantastiska bilder

  3. Jumme says:

    När flyttar vi in?

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