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Oli Gerrish, Historian at Brunswick House

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Oli Gerrish, Historian at Brunswick House

Tell us about you and your work

I am a countertenor and architectural historian, as well as a bespoke country house tour operator. I take part in Salon Wednesdays at LASSCO Brunswick House, giving talks about the historic decoration. 

Why do you enjoy it?

Singing is one of the few things I can do relatively well, and buildings are things I understand. I am constantly delighted by exploring historic buildings and to sing in them as well is a real thrill. I love meeting people and hearing about how they care for the extraordinary architectural heritage we are so lucky to possess here in the UK, and which we can, sometimes, take for granted.

Tell us a bit about Salon Wednesdays at LASSCO and what you’re trying to achieve?

Caroline Percy and I have worked closely with our partners at LASSCO to create ‘bite-sized’ talks by the top speakers on the subject of historic decoration. We also provide practical advice for homeowners, interior designers and architects. Each talk starts and finishes with wine, which is always a good thing I think!

 What are your top 3 country houses for people to visit? 

Woburn Abbey – I like the scale of this Ducal palace – neither too enormous, nor too showy. The state rooms are jewel-like and culminate in a room full of the finest Caleletto Venetian scenes.

Iford Manor – the house is delightfully rambling and the gardens are full of imagination of the most magnificent kind, which is as much thanks to the current owners as it is to the genius of Harold Peto.

Chatsworth House – our local ‘pile’ in Derbyshire. It is a true palace and I am intrigued by it – one day I would love to have a proper nose around all the parts of it that aren’t normally open!

What’s your favourite thing about Vauxhall?

I like the vibrancy of Vauxhall and its history – the Pleasure Gardens must have been quite a thing! Brunswick House is my favourite building. I like the way it sits amidst so much modern ‘architecture’ and manages to so elegantly hold its own!