The Red House
The creative heart of The Red House
Summer (July - September): Tuesday - Saturday, 2-5pm. Free.
Autumn (October - 19 December): Tuesday - Friday, 2-5pm. Free.
In 2013, for the first time ever, the Studio where Britten wrote such masterpieces as the War Requiem is open to visitors. 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.