Matching mansions !

Chevy Chase and Ratho Park were built in 1881 only 100m from each other in Brighton by the two partners of Thompson & Niven book importers, sellers and publishers (business must’ve been good). Very curious, but presumably good friends, met on the boat out from Scotland only 8 years before when Andrew Thompson was barely 30 and he retired when he was 40 (!). The architect for both houses was Frederick Williams, and they almost exactly the same, except the tower of Ratho Park is a bit taller; they both originally addressed Hampton Street on long thin blocks, and now both sit on streets that bend around them. A friend of mine showed me these two houses maybe 30 years ago, I only had a vague memory, but yep, still there and yes they do match!

This is Chevy Chase, built in 1881 in #Brighton; the architecture has survived, but sometimes I wonder what was it actually like to live in one of these #VictorianMansions, with lots of children, layers of clothes, interiors far cluttered than we would accept today, lots of servants, lots of $ and perhaps lots of spare time too ? Very hard to imagine being the master of such a thing, or the mistress, or a servant…. but in this case we have some photos ! Of the Binnie family who lived here c1889-95 (from an amateur family historian website). They look happy enough.

#RathoPark, 1871, Heathfield Road, Brighton, looks fine indeed, though only because it was restored in 2007, having lost the verandah #castiron balustrade when it was St John of God hospital (1949-2006); now it’s glam aged care. Actually im a bit annoyed they went for today’s mid grey instead of the two-tone Victorian colours for the cast iron, it’s a bit lifeless.

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