Friday, 17 May 2019

Inside Nostell

The State Dining Room, designed by James Paine
Sitting room lined with tapestries
Bedroom with tester bed, most likely designed by James Paine
The interior of Nostell Priory is jam-packed with fine architectural details, priceless furniture and objects, utterly breath-taking. Of particular interest is the plasterwork, crafted by two generations of the Rose family of plasterers: Rococo designs by James Paine and later the Neo-Classical designs made famous by Robert Adam.

Plaster ceiling by James Paine in the State Bedroom.

Plasterwork in the Top Hall by Robert Adam

Robert Adam ceiling in the Top Hall
It is likely that Robert Adam introduced the Winns to Thomas Chippendale, a Yorkshireman (born in Otley) who made his name as a furniture maker and designer, largely by producing the innovative "The Gentleman and Cabinet-Makers Director", a luxurious catalogue of furniture designs. With this judicious advertising and by making connections to some of the wealthy elite, he became one of the most celebrated furniture makers Britain has ever produced - a kind of 'Shakespeare' of the furniture world. He not only supplied individual items but designed whole room schemes. His relationship with the Winns was not always straightforward and there were arguments over unpaid bills and unfinished work. When Rowland Winn was killed in a coach accident in 1785, Chippendale was left with huge unpaid fees.

Nostell is home to some of Chippendale's best pieces and last year (2018), being the 300th anniversary of his birth, there was a special exhibition exploring his life, work and relationship with Nostell.

Chippendale cabinet


  1. Hi Jenny - fantastic photos ... and what an interesting place ... with extraordinary history - so worth knowing about ... so thank you for the introduction and also about Chippendale and his 'Director' ... the start of catalogues. Enjoy the weekend - Hilary

  2. Wow what beautiful plaster work. The house is lovely and the history absorbing.

  3. I believe that in or on every object which Thomas Chippendale produced a tiny carved wooden mouse could be found which served as authentication.

    1. I think you're confusing Chippendale with Robert Thompson of Kilburn, whose signature on each piece was a mouse. His work is often found in churches.

  4. What a fabulous place! Times and tastes have changed so much but you can still appreciate the beauty and the craftsmanship.

  5. I admit I'd have trouble sleeping in that bed with all those faces staring down at me. These are great photos of an extraordinary interior!

  6. WoW - Rather Amazing


  7. What lavish interiors! I suspect their income was somewhat greater than my pension.

  8. It's all very grand, I'm liking the 4 poster bed and the plaster artwork on the ceilings.