Alexander Pope and Pope's Grotto now feature on The Twickenham Museum website.
Alexander Pope's life and interests still claim wide attention, yet only recently have the origins of his VILLA, his GARDEN and his GROTTO been explored in detail. No longer does myth have to be embroidered by invention.
Using contemporary records, the shape and size of the villa have been established, showing how it displaced earlier dwellings, transforming local artisan life. The garden was created out of various pieces of land in several ownerships deriving from ancient manorial tenure. Its shape and size was determined by the topography of the mediæval open field system. The grotto, its actual position and changing extent has now been surveyed and its development analysed, both in Pope's lifetime and subsequently.
Work continues towards a detailed identification of the mineral and geological material which adorned the grotto. Over 130 specimens of material have been recorded: a unique collection. Much of this remains today, though much has been removed in the past to other collections.
If anybody knows where souvenirs from Pope's grotto are kept today I should very much like to hear.
Anthony Beckles Willson
There are four current publications available at The Twickenham Museum or from the address given below.
Payment by sterling cheques, please, payable to The Twickenham Museum.
Anthony Beckles Willson, 44 Pope's Avenue, Twickenham, TW2 5TL, UK
tel/fax +44(0)20 8894 6342
email: Anthony Beckles Willson