I think it's been too long since my last 'house tour' -so todays tour is courtesy of the July/August 1986 issue of 'The World of Interiors' magazine: Grimesthorpe Castle. Grimesthorpe is the last house worked on by the amateur architect, Sir John Vanbrugh although the roots of the house date back to the 13th century. Come on in!We start in 'Vanbrugh's Hall' which has always been used as the houses sitting room. Not exactly a cozy place to curl up with a book, but impressive, isn't it? The house's decoration, circa 1986, was by the Lady of the house starting in 1951, Lady Ancaster (cousin of Nancy Lancaster) and John Fowler.My favorite parts of these grand estates are always the hallways -odd, huh? I love how they are an impressive space to guide guests (and residents) from room to room through a gallery of sorts. Natural light is a big help too! The state drawing room is naturally meant to impress. Imagine taking tea here!
I'm sure the Chinese Drawing room will be your cup of tea. The furniture was brought from Florence to the house in 1844. John Fowler had wanted to paint the dado white, but Lady Ancaster insisted on keeping it black - I think it gives the room a more exotic feel. Isn't the wallpaper wonderful? The tea table is Chippendale.
The bay window of the room contains this wonderful gothic fretwork ceiling. Lady Ancaster and John Fowler added the side mirrors to visually enlarge the space.Another room with wonderful wallpaper is 'the bird cage room' - suitably named! Housed in a tower dating from the 13th century, Lady Ancaster insisted on covering the floor with rush matting. This became quite popular with country houses all over GB following this. The 'wallpaper' actually consists only of the birds and flowers, all seperate and pasted to the walls. The foliage was then painted in, connecting the scene. The birds on the ceiling were added by Lady Ancaster from a packet of 'spares' found on the estate. My favorite room though, is probably the Tapestry Room. The tapestries lining the room were all done by inhabitants of the house, mostly all men! Here again you see the rush matting.In this corner view of the tapestry room, you can see the latticework pilasters that surround the bay windows.The state dining room is incredibly large! I don't know enough people to seat here! The light fixtures come from the old House of Lords. The bedrooms are no less impressive. The bed in this room was a gift from King Charles I.
In another bedroom, seen below, the bed again has kingly associations -the canopy once hung over King George IV's throne. In a corner of the room is a very pretty dressing table set with items belonging to a former resident, Nancy, Lady Astor.I hope you enjoyed the tour!