Long Gallery

Long Gallery

Long Gallery (Photoraphy: Andrew Midgley)

The Long Gallery on the south west side is in French 18th century style and would have originally housed Gregory Gregory’s library, picture, and tapestry collection. The tapestry hooks can still be seen high up on the walls. It functioned as a multi-purpose room where people would entertain and exercise when the weather was bad. The house was designed to enable the state rooms to be on the first floor with an elevated view of the Vale of Belvoir, but with access to the gardens from the rear and side of the house. This was achieved by building the house into the side of the hill, enabling servants’ quarters to be located underneath and to the rear.

The Long Gallery in Pearson Gregory era from The Ladies Field, 10 March, 1906

The Long Gallery in Pearson Gregory era from The Ladies Field, 10 March, 1906

The Long Gallery in Violet Van der Elst era from Picture Post, 2 September 1939

The Long Gallery in Violet Van der Elst era from Picture Post, 2 September 1939

 

Features

The delicate carved panelling and plasterwork are indicative of French 18th century style. The walls are wood, coated in gesso, and faux bois grained using a technique typical of the mid 19th century. The panelling was redecorated in the 1980s and again, in places, more recently (2014).

The cloud effect ceiling is thought to be original, although at one time it was erroneously believed that the Jesuit owners (1948-1966) painted over cherubs and nudes because they found them distracting.

The fireplaces have sliding brass pull-outs to each side to help draw up the fire. Note the Gregory Gregory (GG) insignia on the firebacks.

Four of the Seven Deadly Sins can be seen depicted in marble over the doorways leading to the garden and conservatory – Deceit (mask), Jealousy (serpents), Pride (peacock/swan), and Malice (lizard).

Above the doorway to the Ante Room is an Elizabeth I coat of arms.

There is a servants’ access spiral staircase in the far corner which serves all three floors, currently used as a fire escape.

All of the windows are provided with sliding shutters.

From the Long Gallery windows, the stone balustrading seen in the gardens was brought from the original Elizabethan manor house in the village, which, along with a nearby iron gate and the griffin-like figures on pedestals, are the only features which were saved.

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