English Country House Libraries (Page 15)


The Purple Library at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. It is one of three inter-connected libraries: the Blue, Red and Purple Libraries are all named after the colors of their original wall coverings. The house was built to replace an earlier one which was destroyed by fire in 1877, but the Library was not finished until 1912. The smaller photo shows the carved French walnut ceiling and the lanterns were designed by Robert Weir Schultz. Mount Stuart holds around 25,000 books, records, personal letters, photographs and architectural drawings.



The library at Kiplin Hall in North Yorkshire, England. The house was first built in the 1620s, but major additions were made in the 1720s, 1820s and 1890s, when the library was made. In 1887, William Eden Nesfield transformed the drawing room into a handsome, Jacobean-style library, with dark oak paneling, a fireplace with tiles by William de Morgan and an ornate plaster ceiling. The painting above the fireplace is Charles I. The coolest item in this library (in my opinion) is a library chair that converts to steps when the back is tilted forwards, which belonged to Lord Nelson and came from his ship H.M.S. Victory. It was given to his chaplain, Dr. Scott of Catterick, in whose arms Nelson died. Another item: part of the block of wood on which Charles I was beheaded! The library contains approximately 3,000 books.