Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nostell Priory

We rode with the Brinkerhoff’s to the Nostell Priory close to the town of Wakefield.  The sun was shining when we left home, but half way there it started raining, then it stopped.  We waited inside the car in the parking lot for President and Sister Lindley to arrive and it started hailing.  After about 8 minutes it stopped and we started on our adventure.  When we finished our tour, it was a beautiful sunny day again.  One resident of England told us, “If you don’t like the weather just wait, because it is bound to change.”  It is definitely true!
Early History
Nostell Priory takes its name from a 12th century monastery.  It was surrender to Henry VIII in 1540.  The land passed through several owners until it was bought by the Winn family.  The Winns were wealthy textile merchants.  They bought Nostell Priory in 1654, with plans to build a new country house on the 300 acres.  After the Civil War they supported the monarchy and were rewarded by Charles 2nd with a baronetcy in 1660.

Building the mansion began around 1733.  Rowland Winn, the 4th Baronet age sixteen, hired the young James Paine, age nineteen, to supervise the work.  This was Paine’s first job.  Paine worked on the house for the next 30 years, using an ornate rococo style. 
In 1765 Rowland Winn, the 5th Baronet inherited the land.  He had recently married Sabine, a wealthy Swiss beauty, and together they furnished the house with the finest and the best they could buy.  They employed Robert Adam to finish the house in the neoclassical style.  He added the wing on the far right with the columns.  Thomas Chippendale was commissioned to decorate and the interiors.  As a result Nostell has one of the largest and finest Chippendale collections in the country.  Nostell was owned by the Winn family for 300 years.     
There was a  wedding held in the Top Hall and this was their hired car.   
'Sir Thomas More and His Family' by Rowland Lockey, 1592
This life size painting shows Thomas More as his family gathers around him in his Chelsea home.  The painting came to Nostell Priory as part of Susannah Henshaw's dowry when she married the 4th Baronet in 1729.  She was a descendant of More's devoted daughter, Margaret Roper, shown kneeling on the right, her hands resting on an open book.  It was painted as a 50th birthday gift for Sir Thomas More.  The names and ages are painted in gold above each person's head.  The court jester is dressed up like King Henry VIII. 
'The Procession to Calvary' by Pieter Bruegel the Elder c. 1525
This painting hangs in the Breakfast Room.
Chippendale Chair with Winn Eagle
Chippendale Chair in the Top Hall

Grand Piano in the Top Hall with Winn Family Photos

Fireplace in the Top Hall

The Crimson Guest Bedroom

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