Today my gorgeous friend Auriol and I found an absolute gem of local-ish history, architecture and design – the only house designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in England. Just 40 minutes from our home in Milton Keynes.
78 Derngate, a terraced house in Northampton town centre, is a fairly modest-sized building in what was a quiet and middle class street in the First World War. In 1916 engineer JT Lowke bought the property as a wedding preset for his son WJ Bassett-Lowke for about £200. The young Bassett-Lowke, who became a successful model and toy maker, then spent £700 renovating the house to the designs of the already famous Mackintosh.
After the couple sold up and moved to a large art deco villa on the other side of town, a string of subsequent owners covered up, painted over or pulled out the Mackintosh fixtures and fittings. But in 2003, after a £1.4m restoration, 78 Derngate opened as a museum in almost the same state as when Mackintosh finished the commission (Mrs Bassett-Lowke hated the original black and yellow living room and it was toned down to grey…).
Full Price – £6.70
Concessions – £6.20