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Local care home opens doors to reveal original fresco as part of Open House London Festival

30th October 2006

Southgate Beaumont care home on Cannon Hill, Old Southgate, will open its doors to the public as part of the Open House London Festival on 16th and 17th September to reveal the 300-year old original Gerard Lanscroon frescoes it treasures.

Step through the doors of the Grade Two listed building at the Southgate Beaumont care home and rediscover some hidden artistic gems right on your door step.

The magnificent Main Hall and staircase display a signed Gerard Lanscroon fresco, painted in 1723, depicting Julius Caesar's triumphant return to Rome and later his apotheosis. The fresco remains a rare and important example of English baroque art.

In addition the dining room boasts an ornate chimneypiece of Sicilian jasper with an Italian cast marble mask of Apollo and the drawing room has fine Adams style plaster.

The area upon which the Southgate Beaumont now stands has an intriguing history, passing down generation to generation, family to family over the last 400 years.

Originally, the land was owned by the Nuns of Clerkenwell, but upon dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, the land became know as the Arnos Grove Estate or 'Arnolds' owned by the family of Thomas Colte.

In 1584 the Coltes sold the estate to Humphrey Weld, who later became Lord Mayor of London. The estate passed on to the Weld family, famed for brewing, later Sir William Acton and in 1719 James Colebrook, a City of London banker.

The mansion now acts as a high quality care home for older people, with 50 bedrooms for residential and nursing care as well as 21 'close care' apartments offering independent living.

The home also enjoys the highly-esteemed accreditation of being 'Hospitality Assured' by the Hotel & Catering International Management Association, which guarantees the highest standard of hospitality and services, similarly found in other establishments like The Ritz or the Crowne Plaza hotels.

General Manager, Barbara Rees commented: "We are so lucky to have such a unique piece of history on our walls. The fresco itself is truly a masterpiece - so lifelike it literally jumps off the walls.

"Our residents frequently enjoy sitting and reading in the main hall and we are looking forward to welcoming new visitors to see this unique artwork."