NATIONAL NEWS AND EVENTS FROM NAFAS
SUE BRINTON - NATIONAL PRESIDENT
CHRISTINA CURTIS - NATIONAL CHAIRMAN
OSBORNE HOUSE AND AREA EXPLAINED
Welcome to Osborne House the Headquarters of the National Association of Flower
Arrangement Societies (2003) Ltd
Within this booklet we have detailed ‘everything you need to know’ about Osborne House and its locality.
Address : Osborne House, 12 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4TE
Telephone Number : 020 7247 5567
Website : www.nafas.org.uk
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The History of Osborne House
The land on which Devonshire Square now stands was once part of the pleasure gardens of a house dating back to the 16th century and mullioned windows dating from Tudor times have, from time to time, been revealed by various developments. Over the years the estate was owned by members of the nobility eventually coming to the Cavendish family who had the title of Earl and then Duke of Devonshire.
In 1678 the house and land was leased to a syndicate of developers headed by Dr Nicholas Barbon. He laid out the square and built on some of it and let out plots to other builders so this area changed becoming occupied by commerce and trade. In 1692 in a Land Tax return a Mr Horne was listed as residing at No. 12. From that day an almost unbroken succession of occupiers can be traced.
Barbon was known as a speculator and the builder of houses that needed repair within 30 years and it seems likely that around 1740 numbers
12 – 13 were re-fronted or partly rebuilt.
According to Nikolaus Pevsner in his Buildings of England ‘The earliest survivors in the square are the fine mid-Georgian pair numbers 12
and 13. Their rusticated stone door cases with ionic columns and pediments on pulvinated (i.e extremely convex) friezes look c.1740. A print of 1738 shows the 17th century sequence intact.
Of the two, number 12 is better preserved internally although restored by Robert C Murray in 1886 to as far as possible its original condition’ Pevsner called it ‘an interesting minor landmark of early neo-Georgian taste’.
He pointed out that it had four bays, four storeys, plus a half basement, a general central open-well staircase set back from the front with Ionic pilasters at the entrance and enriched first floor door cases and panelled doors. He admired ‘much good panelling, mid-18thcentury style, but doubtless partly 1886’.
The two flight staircase have typical ramped handrails, enriched tread-ends and column newels; the individual balusters (two per tread) have twisted shafts on candlestick like bases.
Mr Bentham restored the house in 1886 under the direction of the architect Mr Robert C Murray. He wrote that ‘there is a curious revolving grate on the first floor, having an oval firebox divided by an iron plate into two halves, one half more decorated than the other. The firebox turns on a pivot and either half can be used in the fireplace as desired (dated by Pevsner to about 1820). There are traces in several rooms of the old high chimney-pieces but these were removed c.1836 and marble ones substituted’.
Osborne House was purchased by the charity NAFAS in 2001. It has been adapted to be used as the Headquarters of the organisation but with sympathy as to its neo-Classical origins as a residence.
Arrival / Departure
We would ask that you please sign in / out of the building. The visitors book is located on the dresser in the hallway adjacent the staircase.
Please read the Fire Regulations in the bedrooms noting that all fire doors must be kept closed at all times.
A disabled w.c is situated on the ground floor, to the rear of the building. Each floor, including the basement, has at least one w.c.
The bedrooms at Osborne House are reserved well in advance and can only be used on official NAFAS business and when there is a National Officer, Board of Director or Committee Member staying. Delegates attending courses on site are always accompanied by one of the above.
Each bedroom has the benefit of tea / coffee making facilities; please help yourself to milk, tea and coffee stored in the kitchen on the first floor. Towels and hairdryers are provided in each room.
Upon departure all beds are to be made up with clean linen stored in each room. The dirty linen should be taken to the laundry room located to the rear of the basement.
As there is no gas supply Osborne House is heated by electric; it would be appreciated that, upon departure, the heating and lighting is turned off and all windows are closed.
There are shower rooms located on the second and third floors with soap and shampoo provided. Labels clearly identify which electrical switches need to be turned on in order for the showers to work. After leaving please ensure that the switches are turned off.
In the winter leaving the shower and power switches on ensures a warm towel rail.
The kitchen situated on the first floor is for everyone’s use. However, we would just ask that you please keep it clean and tidy, refrigerate / store away surplus food and load / turn on the dishwasher.
As you enter Osborne House the first door on the right is the Library; you are more than welcome to have a browse, sit quietly and enjoy the relaxing surroundings whilst perusing the extensive range of books. We would, however, ask politely that all books must be replaced in the original position.
Mini Cab Services
Addison Lee is a recommended mini-cab service – telephone number 0844 800 6677. Alternatively if you bear to the right of Devonshire Square, walk through Devonshire Row, cross Bishopsgate there is a black cab taxi rank just by Liverpool Street Station.
When you leave Osborne House bear right into Devonshire Row leading to Bishopsgate, turn right and, no further than a five minute walk, there is a Tesco, Boots and NatWest Bank. There are also two Marks & Spencer food courts in Liverpool Street Station.
GETTING TO OSBORNE HOUSE BY BUS
Whilst Osborne House is only a couple of minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street main line and Underground station, we understand that the Tube isn’t for everyone.
If you are lucky enough to have an English National Concessionary Pass, don’t forget that bus travel in London is free after 09:30 weekdays (and at any time bank holidays and weekends).
Below is a list of the bus routes from all London main line terminals that take you to Liverpool Street, and the letter identifier of which stop you need to find: TO VIEW THE TIMETABLE PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT - SEE ABOVE
Just situated in Bishopsgate is Liverpool Street Station home to both over ground and underground trains enabling easy access to London and its neighbouring areas.
To the left of Osborne House there are a number of restaurants:-
Cinnamon Kitchen 9 Devonshire Square 020 7626 5000
Chic contemporary restaurant for innovative Indian cooking influenced by classic British traditions.
Haz 9 Cutler Street, E1 7DJ 020 7929 7923
A Mediterranean restaurant
Devonshire Terrace Devonshire Square 020 7256 3233
Sophisticated Modern European restaurant and high glass-roofed courtyard with views of the Gherkin.
Enoteca da Luca 8 Devonshire Square 020 7283 2455
Classic Italian dishes and regional wines in a homely restaurant with photo mural and open kitchen.
Kenza Restaurant & Lounge 10 Devonshire Square 020 7929 5533
A Middle Eastern restaurant
Mac & Wild 9a Devonshire Square 020 7637 0510
An upscale restaurant serving British Game dishes
Pitt & Cure 1 The Avenue, Devonshire Square 020 7324 7770
Wood-smoked meats, from ribs to Mangalitza pork, plus craft cocktails in an industrial-rustic space.
Alternatively, just around the corner in Bishopsgate you can sample the dizzy heights of the 38th floor, Heron Tower and enjoy a meal of Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian sushiat Sushi Samba telephone number 020 3640 7330
Left: a photograph of the arrangements done at Westminster Abbey yesterday 16th January 2019 for the Service of the Baptism of our Lord.
The photo shows Gloria Goodley, Susan Bloomfield from Norwich Group of Flower Clubs (East of England Area of NAFAS) together with Minor Cannon Jenny.
FLOWERS AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
It is not generally known that NAFAS organise the flower arrangements in Westminster Abbey. Areas are invited to send members to arrange to represent various days and events. Some of the members arrangements are shown here.