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Brintons brings back history for Baddesley Clinton

2nd February 2016

Brintons, has helped the National Trust to recreate history at the iconic manor house, Baddesley Clinton, by supplying 19th Century designs from its extensive design archive.

Baddesley Clinton, with its mixture of stone and half-timbering, is a Grade I moated manor house in Warwickshire, originally dating from the thirteen century. It was owned by the Ferrers up until 1980 when it was passed to the National Trust. The house, which has featured in Granada’s Sherlock Homes series and The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual, boasts a wealth of 16th century carvings and furniture as well as 19th century accessories.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Baddesley Clinton is the presence three secret priest's holes. These hidden chambers were built during the height of religious strife in 17th century England, and afforded visiting Jesuit priests a place to hide from prying eyes. 

As part of a re-furbishment project to replace a worn out wilton runner, Curator for the National Trust, Andrew Barber, approached Brintons’ archivist, Yvonne Smith to find carpet designs that reflected the individuality of the home and its former owners - the Ferrers family,

Having no evidence of original carpet patterns to replicate, Andrew visited Brintons’ archive to find designs from the 1870’s,and 1880’s to evoke a design that would sit comfortably with the historic interiors.

With the help of Yvonne, six potential designs were chosen, featuring different field and border designs constructed of geometric shapes and intricate colour patterns. Speaking of the project, Andrew said: “It was a wonderful experience visiting the archive and working with Yvonne to explore the original point pattern papers in order to really get a feel for the designs and the period that they encompassed.

“As the Ferrers family were well known Roman Catholic converts, we wanted to choose designs that reflected their religious leanings as well as the Victorian taste that features largely in the property. As stained glass windows, rich oak beams and ochre-washed walls appear throughout the house, we wanted to discover designs that did not merely coincide with the interiors but created a perfect balance between them. To judge by the positive comments we have received from visitors this seems to have been achieved.”

Two separate patterns were chosen for the field and border of the carpet to create one cohesive design that reflected the chosen period of 1870 – 1885. These were fitted on two staircases and two main corridors of the property, one of which spans the whole width of the inner courtyard.

Andrew continued: “As the widths of the staircases and corridors differ, we chose to separate the designs of border and field to accommodate this. This resulted in some parts of the corridor featuring just the field design and in other parts featuring both the field and border designs.

A Victorian colour palette consisting of deep maroons, pinks, reds and black were chosen based on original watercolour interiors of the manor house, which helped to induce a rich Catholic feel to the property.

Two intricate, geometric and floral inspired designs were picked for the field and borders to reflect the Victorian period of the interiors and to enhance the spirit of the property.

Andrew continued: “The carpet design perfectly reflects the character and spirit of the Ferrers family and it was a fantastic opportunity gradually and gently to increase the individuality of the house.”

Image top right: ( l to r) Yvonne Smith, Brintons Archivist with Alexa Buffey, National Trust

Image top right: Baddesley Clinton, corridor area

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