The Grange, which means a farmer’s bungalow, gets its name from the owners’ love for agriculture. It’s been the main occupation for generations of the family, and though the business has diversified, The Grange signifies an innate respect for the generosity of the soil.
The trellised canopy at the entrance of The Grange is a typical architectural feature of British bungalows. The monkey top though had less to do with the primate and more to do with the weather – it helped keep away the sun in summer and prevented rainwater from entering the house during the monsoon.
A treasure trove of carefully-restored Chettinad and Nilgiri antiques fill each room at The Grange. With extensive trade links to Burma, South East Asia and Europe, the Chettiars accumulated inimitably crafted collectibles and carried them back home from across the seas. The antiques at The Grange span not just nations, but generations.
If The Grange is a showcase of Ooty’s English heritage, this is the centerpiece. This cottage with four individual rooms is characterised by stained glasswork, arched roofs, imposing fireplaces, and a generous portion of old world charm.
A departure from the overall English architecture of The Grange, one section is styled like a courtyard found in houses across Chettinad. The pillars are the prominent feature, done up in the vibrant hues characteristic to the region.
Each room is enlivened by the tiles that derive their name from a village in Chettinad, where they are made. The affluent Chettiars once imported European tiles for their houses, but when they began to wear and tear, artisans in Athangudi created the local tile in richer colours and patterns. They soon became a cultural motif.