Strawberry Hill House

As part of their studies, A-Level English students had an opportunity of developing their understanding of a key module on Gothic Literature by visiting Strawberry Hill House, the residence of Horace Walpole –the author of the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto (1764).

Students were provided with a tour around this Gothic-revival castle of curiosities with its gloomy subterranean passages, medieval inspired battlements and towers and invited to reflect upon some of the works in the collection which include the obsidian mirror of a Jacobean necromancer, a painting of a condemned murderess and a mirror which reflects back a distorted image of man’s own dark nature. Students were then provided with a short lecture to consolidate their knowledge of the texts being studied this year, The Bloody Chamber and Dracula, and found the trip to be both inspiring and thought provoking in their discussions on a genre which is as popular today as it was 250 years ago.