'High & Over'

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High & Over is a Grade II listed 'Moderne' Detached house in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. High & Over was designed by Amyas Connell in late 1920’s and built in 1931 for Bernard Ashmole, the distinguished art historian and former director of the British Museum.



Connell was heavily influenced by the work of French Modernist architect Le Courbousier, and 'High&Over' is aggressively 'Moderne'<ref>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/3314399/The-century-makers-1929.html</ref>. It is listed as Grade II*, or “of more than special interest,” by the English Heritage organization, which notes the house is “of outstanding importance as the first truly convincing essay in the international style in England.”

In 1931, the news organisation British Pathé produced a short film about the High and Over home called 'The House of a Dream' (still available on the Pathe news site here). The documentary opines that: “for centuries houses have been built to meet the needs of each age. Today, we dream of houses open to sun and air, embodying everything that modern science can offer"<ref>http://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-house-of-a-dream</ref>.

The documentary describes the home as such: “for centuries houses have been built to meet the needs of each age. Today, we dream of houses open to sun and air, embodying everything that modern science can offer.” Here at Chimni, we love it because it is in a number of Poirot episodes (see below)!

In 2010 the house was fully restored by the then owners, the designers Paolo Guidi and Katherina Harlow, who were quoted as saying High and Over has a large circular drive and a hexagonal central hall. A circular void in the hall ceiling, which Mr. Guidi calls the “ocular,” allows views of the first and second floors, and a small shallow fountain sits on the floor.

“The Ashmoles used to give great parties here and we were told people were always accidentally stepping into the fountain set into the floor of the hallway. When we had our own parties we discovered it was true.”<ref> http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/greathomesanddestinations/an-art-historians-modernist-gem.html?_r=1</ref>

Poirot & Other Media Coverage[edit]

Poirot & Captain Hastings in the gardens at High & Over

High & Over was used in a number of episodes of the ITV drama series 'Poirot'. The staging of the TV series of Poirot is often mischaracterised as ‘Art Deco’, however the producers, led by Brian Eastman, were true to the spirit of the more important International Moderne.

High & Over featured in Series 1, Episode 9 'King of Clubs' filmed in 1989, where it was used as the home of the character 'Henry Reedburn'<ref>http://www.tvlocations.net/kingclubs.htm</ref>. Played by David Swift 'Harry Reedburn' is the head of the Parade Film Studio entertaining starlet Valerie Saintclair' (played by Niamh Cusack) at High & Over, when his murdered body is discovered. Poirot is called upon once again!

See Also In Chimni[edit]

ChimniWiki Amyas Connell

ChimniWiki Is My House 'Art Deco'?

Chimni Wiki Homes Used In Poirot Episodes

Chimni Wiki Page: Homes Used As TV & Movie Locations

Other Interesting Sites[edit]

IMDB - 'King of Clubs' - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0676178/?ref_=fn_al_tt_7

British Pathe Filmshttp://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-house-of-a-dream

Books We Like[edit]