Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Symbolism of Langdale Chase

Langdale Chase is now a hotel situated on Lake Windermere in the Lake District, England. It dates from 1890, and reveals the Gothic style of the later Victorian period, offering some of the finest views of the lake and capturing the Romantic essence of the area. The building is also embellished with symbolism, and as a hotel (which it became in 1930), it attracted many prominent people and was the setting for a film adaptation of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller - The Paradine Case - released in 1947. Langdale Chase was depicted as Hindley Hall in the film and one can see from watching the film that the hall has not changed too much, especially the entrance hall and staircase - which was also reproduced in a Hollywood studio (see the excellent book The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock by Steven Jacobs).

There is no evidence that Hitchcock was a Freemason, but links have been made over the years, mainly by speculative writers in various corners of the internet. However, Hitchcock did make the most of symbolism in his films, using visualisation and architecture to convey the atmosphere (think of Bates' haunting Gothic house in Psycho), and he used subtle references throughout certain films, such as the references to author Edgar Allan Poe in his film Marnie. Langdale Chase certainly has retained the elegant atmosphere of a lakeside country manor house, and one can see why Hitchcock was drawn to it.

The main entrance - symbolism embellishes the doorway, the coat of arms of the family can be seen near the windows.

The main reception room - the fireplace is rich in symbolism that reflects the Romanticism of the area; Celtic scenes, dragons and mysterious faces decorate the fireplace.

The Gothic splendour of Langdale Chase dominates the lakeside.

Lake Windermere as viewed from the house.

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