The main hallway at Ugbrooke showcases a roll-call of the Clifford family ancestry. Portraits of the various Lords ascend the mahogany staircase and dwelling on the story of each portrait as you climb the stairs generates its own mini-history lesson. However, this is no dark, dreary stairway, these illustrious family members are lit by a magnificent glass dome at the top dead centre of the hallway which provides a natural light filled gallery.
The portraits had to take a brief holiday this year whilst the dome was refurbished. Art logistics experts, Gander and White, removed the paintings, packaged them into custom made transport boxes and took them to a specialist art storage warehouse in London for the summer. Scaffolding was erected inside and out to allow contractors to carefully remove the dome glass, to be replaced with new sun-protective glass and re-set into new timber supports. We much look forward to the return of the portraits and putting them back into pride of place at the centre of he house.
corbel /ˈkɔːb(ə)l/ noun1. a projection jutting out from a wall to support a structure above it.
The two facades of Ugbrooke House are starkly different. Between the 1860s and 1870s the enthusiastic 8th Lord made his statement by adding the heavy plasterwork around the windows/archways and the faux stone finish of the main façade. Fortunately, he left the beautiful Chapel/Library Wing in its original condition. As such, this wing retained its Georgian plaster corbels but they were in desperate need of repair. Specialist stonemasonry work was undertaken to make them elegant (and safe) again.