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Corsham Court
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Corsham Court was the residence of Lord Methuen and on a small part of the second floor of this great house the Academy had it's library. Other rooms were allocated for use by some of the staff but I never worked out who was where and for what reason. I can remember coming to 'The Court' for an interview, albeit in the basement, and being intrigued by the grandeur of the place. If you went to public school previous to coming here, and some did, then it would seem quite normal, for me it was nicely alien. The entrance to the Court for the students was around the back of the house and after a brisk climb up those curving Adam staircases, you had the choice of two, you reached the library. It always amazed me why Lord Methuen would allow such weird art students to infiltrate his house, allegedly the college paid for repairs to the roof and it's a very big roof.

Three steps to heaven, Corsham Court.

Side gate to the main entrance.

Three steps to heaven, Corsham Court.

Side gate to the main entrance.send as a postcard

A Halloween party that I organised in '77, was set in the basement of the Court. Through various people I got permission from the owner and managed to get hold of theatrical props, a dried ice machine and florescent strobes. The scene was set for a 'bit of a scary do' and many students played the ghoulish bit to the 'N'th degree. I never found out who came as a 'grave with attached headstone', they had to dance alone because of the 'sticky-out' bit, but they are still remembered to this day for their great originality.

Who was THAT GRAVESTONE? - mystery now solved.
click on the bat to reveal all.

Who was THAT gravestone?

A walled folly with a purpose?

Sculpted topiary.

A walled folly with a purpose?send as a postcard

Sculpted topiary.

I always believed that this folly was built to screen the then, Lords view of Church Street. It certainly is a strange mixture of architecture and would seem to have only that purpose. The sculpted topiary is also an impressive walled feature and encloses the house and grounds on the town side. The designer gardens and views of the lake, on the other side, were accessible through a side gate. As students of the college you could stroll around the gardens for free, admire the beautiful flora and fauna while discovering some of the secret areas and pick up the feathers dropped by the peacocks around the grounds. Lord Methuen allowed them to be taken at first but a few years later he would accost any poor student who was making off with 'his feathers' and demand 50p each for them. Luckily I had my collection by first year and still have them 27 years later, a reminder of those days.

Some trees just last forever!

... and some peacocks!

Some trees just last forever!

...and some peacocks!


Main entrance to Corsham Court


The music room.

Main entrance to Corsham Court.

The music room.
(
More recognisable as the Sculpture dept. up to 1970)

The music room was in the building on the right side of the main entrance. I spent too much time in there mostly because of that Bosendorfer grand piano, I usually got in there early before someone else did. You could make as much noise as you liked in there without annoying your friends, except for the foundation students who used the studio directly opposite... it must have been hell for them!

Lake in the distance.





South Avenue from Corsham Court.

Lake in the distance, over the stile.

South Avenue from Corsham Court.

South Avenue and it's straight line of trees is off Church Square and includes a crossing over point into the fields and lake beyond. At the other end of the avenue is the Methuen Gates and Almshouses, onto the Gastard Road leading to that other student hangout... Monks Park. Reputedly the place where painting students disappeared for three years and were never seen again!

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flash movie!

The Methuen Crest.
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Corsham 2
Prospectuses from 1950, 58, 61, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72 & 82          
Prospectuses from 1950, 58, 61, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72 & 82