Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Claydon House

It's still raining! Gail's sister Irene and her husband Dave, with whom we are staying, took us to Claydon House today. It was built in the 1600s over a period of 40 years by Sir Edward Verney who was Standard Bearer to King Charles 1st at the time of the Civil War. He was killed in the first skirmish and as Standard Bearer he was hacked to pieces to such an extent that all that could be found of him was one hand still clutching the pole of the standard.

The house was built on deficient foundations and soon started to crack and become unstable. A later generation demolished two thirds of the building leaving only the western wing. The materials were used to fix the remaining part and other buildings on the estate, which left a smaller but more stable house that could be maintained without bankrupting the family.

It's an unusual building inside because of the amazing and in some instances strange carvings in all the main rooms that look like marble at first glance but are in fact pine carvings that are painted white. The craftsman was Lightfoot who apparently took 10 years to complete just three rooms and a staircase.

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