Apethorpe Long Gallery Panelling, Apethorpe Hall, Apethorpe, Northamptonshire: Recording and Analysis Report

Author(s): Nick Hill

Published no date

During 2006-7 the whole of the oak panelling in the Long Gallery was removed for comprehensive repair. A detailed study of the panelling and the walls behind it was made, together with tree-ring dating and assessment of documentary evidence. It was established that the panelling is largely the original Jacobean work, probably dating to c.1630, several years after the main shell of the building was completed. A full record has been made identifying all construction details and the extent of original fabric. The original scheme included, most unusually, large holes for sixteen full-length portraits. These holes were only filled in with matching oak panelling around 1905. Behind the panelling, a very complete full-size design drawing was found to survive across the whole of the south wall. Trial designs for heraldic badges were also found on the wall face behind the panelling. It is suggested that the panel faces may originally have been decorated with such devices, though the evidence indicates that there was no overall paint coating to the panelling. Details of the construction techniques and tools used have also been identified. It appears that the panelling was made by two teams of joiners, with subtle differences in their work. A brief study of other contemporary panelling schemes has been made, to set the Apethorpe work in context.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports


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