The Red House
The creative heart of The Red House
Autumn 2014 opening hours (to 12 December): Tuesday - Friday, 2-5pm. Free.
Come and see the Studio where Britten wrote such masterpieces as the War Requiem. His desk, piano and other original items have been put back into the elegant first-floor room created for him out of a former hayloft next to the main house. As he wrote to a friend in 1959,‘I’ve made myself a nice remote studio where I can bang away to my heart’s content.’
Even before moving to The Red House in November 1957, Britten asked the architect HT (‘Jim’) Cadbury-Brown to survey the property and consider options for a purpose-built studio in the grounds. Cadbury-Brown instead suggested converting this building, a former hayloft next to the main house. The studio was completed the following summer. It is clear that Cadbury-Brown took great care over details such as the acoustics and lighting, creating a space that suited his client perfectly.
The Studio restoration is based on Cadbury-Brown’s original project file and contemporary photographs. The layout is presented as it was in 1958, before Britten rearranged it in the early 1960s.