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Author Topic: Down House - Downe  (Read 1463 times)

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Offline cliveh

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    • Kent's Historical Sites
Down House - Downe
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 10:13:54 »
Paid a visit here on Sunday and can thoroughly recommend it. Some very interesting exhibits from the life and works of Charles Darwin who lived here for 40 years.

Some history of the house from the Pastscape website:

Down House was the home of Charles Darwin from 1842 until his death in 1882. Originally built as a farmhouse in 1788 the Darwin family bought the property in 1842 and subsequently enlarged it and carried out various alterations. After Charles Darwin's death in April 1882 Down House became the summer home for his widow until her death in 1896. The house was then let out as a private residence and in 1907 it was let as a school. In 1927 the property was put up for sale and the British Association for the Advancement of Science bought the site as a memorial to Darwin. Down House was opened to the public in June 1929 and in 1952 the property was purchased by the Royal College of Surgeons. In May 1996 Down House was sold to English Heritage, in whose ownership it remains and it has been preserved as a historical house and museum.
Down House is a three storey stuccoed building with a slate roof. The house consists of a central main block with two wings. Between 1843 and 1846 substantial work was carried out on the house and the north-west wing, which contains Darwin's study, was added in 1858.
Down House was Darwin's home for forty years, and the house and grounds were where Darwin took inspiration for and developed his theories of evolution. From his new study Darwin worked on the scientific theories that first scandalized and then revolutionized the Victorian world, culminating in the publication of one of the most significant books of the century, "On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection", in 1859.
The house is now owned by English Heritage and has been preserved as a historic house and museum with displays on the life and work of Charles Darwin. To celebrate the bicentenary of Darwin's birth, a new exhibition has been developed at Down House and opened to the public in 2009.



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