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6 Aug 2021

Why we love the Hill House

We LOVE the Hill House


Speakers: 3 voices – Taylah Egbers (TE), Rachel Thompson (RT), Alison McIntosh-Prentice (AM)

TE – I love this place because we get to tell the story of the Blackie family. It’s so vibrant and warming and everything around the house is just an amazing experience. People come to visit us from all over the world. It is a really internationally renowned site and because of that we have some of the most wonderful conversations with visitors. They bring their own stories and how they relate to Mackintosh, and then we get to share our passion with them as well.

When our visitors are exploring the property, they’ll come across many unique and wonderful items designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald. These are not items only for Mackintosh enthusiasts but for first-time visitors as well. The Mackintosh items throughout the house that we get people to look out for are a lot of the chairs, we have a lot of the original wall paintings, particularly in the hall. Upstairs in the White Bedroom as well we have beautiful wardrobes and beds.

AM – The Sleeping Princess here is one of Margaret Macdonald-Mackintosh’s original pieces of gesso artwork. The gesso work is actually piped so it’s a different kind of technique than just a normal painting. The reason I love The Sleeping Princess is that it tells a story. It’s the story of Sleeping Beauty and Margaret’s gesso work always told a story and it ties it in really well to this house, the Hill House. Blackie the publisher did a lot of children’s books and Sleeping Beauty being a children’s book just makes it a complete story within the house. A really, really beautiful piece of artwork.

TE – When people are exploring the rooms, some of the key items that we like to point out are the Blackie family items, from the writing desk in the Library to the bed upstairs in the White Bedroom. Even when they’re walking on the Box on a clear day you can see all the way to Arran and that’s some of the best views you can get.

RT – What I love about this place is when a visitor comes to the Hill House for the first time and you get to see their reaction, initially in total awe at the beauty of the Hallway and then when they come into the Drawing Room and they’re seeing Mackintosh’s play on light and dark interiors, it really is just an amazing thing to witness.

One of my favourite rooms in the Hill House has to be the White Bedroom. There are so many reasons I love this room, one of those being that you can see the original stencilling created by Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald. We also have our two iconic ladderback chairs in this room. It makes it a really, really special place to visit. A little fun fact about this room that I really enjoy is that Anna Blackie actually used to entertain here; she loved this space so much.

TE – People come to this place purely for Mackintosh sometimes but when they come and they experience the rooms and they see how much more we’ve got to offer, they leave armed with more knowledge and passion than they had when they arrived. They come for the wall paintings, the gesso, but when they experience the Box and they see the amazing views from the top walkway, it’s just something completely out of this world.

Since the Box has been put up, we are now able to see the house from a wide range of different angles, angles that Mackintosh himself wouldn’t have seen. This includes a brand new café that we have and visitor centre. These are new areas of the house that people can enjoy when they visit the property. People can now visit the new café, which is located in the visitor centre. They can enjoy a range of different items, from the breakfast menu to the lunch menu.

Working here is amazing. From the staff and volunteers, everyone here is so passionate and excited about being at work. They love the Mackintosh story that we have here but also the Blackie family as well. Every single person who you speak to will have a different story and a different element of the house which they love, which makes this place special to them.

The Hill House is now open for everyone to enjoy. This is a place where everyone will find something they love: from the history of the house to the beautiful gardens themselves. When you come to the Hill House and experience the journey here, you will fall in love with the entire property.

An inspiring building, beautiful interiors and collection, fascinating stories and a unique viewing platform from our newly constructed Box – there are just so many things to love about the Hill House.

The Hill House is open daily.

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