The Long Gallery

The Long Gallery stretches the length of the East Front and was intended for the display of paintings and sculpture. To the detriment of both furniture and pictures it was used for family cricket practice in the nineteenth century and the present generation has been put to considerable expense in repairing the damage so done. This room has been completely renovated to its original eighteenth-century splendour. There is a chinoiserie theme running through the pure Rococo plasterwork with Ho-Ho birds on the ceiling and a pagoda in the bold carving on the chimneypiece. In contrast, the two screens of Corinthian columns and the frieze strike a more classical note.

The two pier glasses between the central windows, with much of the furniture and picture frames, are by Thomas Johnson; a series of girandoles and candlestands once belonging to this set are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum and in Philadelphia. Among other notable pieces of furniture is a Victorian drinking table with its three decanter holders on a swivel; the latter enabled those incapacitated by alcohol to remain seated.

Many of the seventeenth-century portraits, some by Sir Peter Lely, were bequeathed to Sir Charles Lyttelton by the 3rd Viscount Brouckner (1620-84) whose portrait hangs second left of the fireplace.

The Chandeliers were made in Birmingham. The large centre one was made by Perry & Co and is an exact replica of one which hangs in the Mansion House in London. The two smaller ones were made by Oster & Faraday. The two companies have merged and are now owned by David Wilkinson whose father started a glassworks in Amblecote, Stourbridge, an area which was, until recently, the heart of the crystal glass industry.