Regency Romp Adventure continues……..through Yorkshire and Derbyshire - Summer 2023
Part Two After a fond farewell from the Harewood Estate we headed south towards the town of Wakefield and the Palladium home of the Winn family - Nostell Priory formerly a medieval priory.
Nostell Priory The Winn family were originally drapers and after fortunate investments in land and property acquired a baronetcy in the 17th century. Fun fact: baronets date from 1611 when James I granted letters patent/titles to 200 gentlemen of good birth with an income of at least £1,000 a year; in return for the honour, each was required to pay for the upkeep of thirty soldiers for three years amounting to £1,095, in those days a very large sum The demise of the 4th Baronet during the construction of the new house left it sadly incomplete. The 5th Baronet was a flamboyant spender and commissioned Robert Adam to complete the interiors of Nostell. Unfortunately, the 5th Baronet Rowland died suddenly and left a huge debt. Construction halted and Adam, Chippendale and Zucchi were owed huge sums of money. The family subsequently stopped work on the estate - labelling Nostell Priory as ‘a burden since it was built’. Although quite a number of the rooms were devoid of furniture and original architecture—it did feature a spectacular Adam entry and his touches within several state rooms.
The Top Hall Although quite bare in comparison to Harewood the Top Hall is breathtaking. The plasterwork upon the ceiling is beautifully stylised; the work of Joseph Rose the Younger. James Paine intended the Top Hall to be Nostell’s formal entrance with an external sweeping stone staircase to the ground level. However, his plans were never realised with the work taken over by the acclaimed Robert Adam. Adam created a theatrical feature, enlarging the alcove to create a vestibule through to the Saloon. Unfortunately Adam’s plans were cut short and Zucchi paintings on panels over the doors, windows and chimneypieces and a marble floor, were sadly not achieved.
The Saloon A grand setting for dances and gatherings initially planned by Paine but remodelled between 1767-1776 by Adam’s for the 5th Baronet. In the 19th century the Saloon was a sitting room and opened for afternoon tea with friends.
The State Dining Room Fortunately the room contains the best preserved work of James Paine although Robert Adam added several panels in the modern Neo-classical style plus Antonio Zucchi’s work over the doors and fireplace.
Primarily used as a dining room, the theme of good food and drink is fittingly displayed in the ceiling decoration of Ceres, goddess of agriculture, Satyrs signifying Bacchus and the Zucchi’s paintings of fishing and ploughing.
After an enjoyable sojourn within West Yorkshire notwithstanding the rain we headed south to the gorgeous Peak District and our stay at The Devonshire Arms @ Pilsley within the extensive grounds of the Chatswood Estate. Even an incident with a menacing pheasant did not deter our road travel—just made us extra wary of game!! My next newsletter will cover Chatswood. A memorable stay….