This weekend, ROSL once again participated in Open House London, a celebration of the architectural heritage of the city. With such a breadth of different eras and building styles to see, hundreds of buildings that are usually closed to the public were available for people to view, including Over-Seas House. The three buildings that make up the clubhouse, all built at different times and featuring different decorative finishes and fittings, can be seen as a microcosm of Open House London in one building!
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, 26 tours took small groups of no more than five people on guided tours around the building, to discover some of the history, the interesting architectural features and learn more about ROSL itself and the benefits of membership.
For example, did you know ROSL bought Vernon House in 1921 as part of its fundraising efforts for the First World War. The equivalent of £50 million was raised in today's money for comforts for the troops, 350 aeroplanes for the Royal Flying Corps (pictured) and the building itself, which was purchased as a permanent memorial to those who lost their lives.
Did you know Rutland House was designed by James Gibbs between 1734 and 1740 and is the last remaining example of his work on private residences. Today, Gibbs is well remembered for his work designing churches, such as St Mary le Strand and St-Martin-in-the-Fields. The Gibbs Staircase (pictured) is unusual for featuring a wrought iron balustrade, one of the first examples of this material being used decoratively.
In the Rutland Room, you may have noticed a large marble fireplace created by Flemish sculptor John Rysbrack in 1736, which was valued at £250,000 a number of years ago, which makes it the most valuable item in the building.