Prestwold Library

Interior

The interior of the house is noted for its exceptional marbled plaster work in the Italian style, remarkable for both the scale and the quality of the work. Within the house, there is a notable collection of twentieth century portraiture and of eighteenth century English and European furniture.

Prestwold Hall Interior
Prestwold Hall Interior
Prestwold Hall Interior
Prestwold Hall Interior
Prestwold Hall Interior
Prestwold Hall Interior
Prestwold Hall Interior
Prestwold Hall Interior

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The Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall

One of the finest rooms inside the house is the Entrance Hall. The painted ceiling was inspired by Raphael’s Vatican grotesques and incorporates miniature landscapes showing the house before and after its remodelling between 1842 and 1844. 

Below the ceiling, enwreathing the room, are small medallion busts of the poets from Chaucer to Scott, positioned in the spandrels, and most are likely inspired by Alberti’s external arcade at the Tempio Malatestiano at Rimini. 

An arcade opens on to a vaulted corridor leading to a top lit inner hall, these spaces also marbled. Off the corridor the cantilevered stone staircase survives from the eighteenth century house and was given its bracketed brass balusters by William Wilkins (1751-1815) in 1805.

Bar Area

The Dining Room

The Dining Room, added by Wilkins in 1805, was incorporated into the remodelling undertaken by the Scottish architect William Burn in 1842. In recent years the dining room has become a spacious bar area, used frequently for hosting a wide array of celebrations. 

The room is overlooked by two dramatic full-length portraits of Sir Edward Hussey Packe, KBE (1878 – 1946) and the Hon. Lady Mary Sydney Packe (née Colebrooke, 1890 – 1973) by the painter Glyn Philpot RA (1844 – 1947). The portrait of Lady Packe, painted in 1911 was described by the art historian Robin Gibson OBE as an ‘amazing feat of virtuosity’. Its elongated elegance and introspective characterisation is totally without the fashion-plate vulgarity of much Edwardian portraiture. 

Library

The Library

The library extends nearly the entire length of the house when the large doors that separate it from the drawing room are opened, connecting the two rooms. With clever use of constructional steel, William Burn was able to create these long adjoining rooms, which provide a superior entertaining space.

The windows rise from floor level and open onto the garden which enhances the notion that Prestwold was designed in the style of an Italian classical villa. The doors and bookcases in library were made for George Hussey Packe (1846–1908) by Gillows of Lancaster and London in 1875.

Inner Hall

The Inner hall

The Inner Hall has an air of the art deco age which exudes from the paintings adorning the walls; these were mostly painted between the 1920s and 1930s. Five more paintings by Philpot hang in this room and they capture the beauty and elegance of the period. 

The Conservatory

The Conservatory

A conservatory fills the recessed central bay at the front of the house, and projects out towards the garden. Behind the glass and elegant Doric pilasters, are well planted raised beds with a number of exotic plants and flowers.