“From hence you enter the dining room; the decorations in the finest taste, and the richest of their kind; the ceiling and cornice of white and green, beautiful. The slabs of Siena marble (on the side tables) large and finely veined.”
Arthur Young’s comments in 1772 hold true today.
The ceiling of the Dining Room, designed by John Vardy but based by him on Inigo Jones’s ceiling in the Banqueting House, Whitehall, has been carefully restored after damage in the Second World War while the frieze with festoons of laurel (sacred to Apollo) derives from the temple of Fortuna Virilis in Rome.
Vardy’s original design for the room survives and shows that the walls were embellished with twelve pilasters and niches. These were removed by Holland in 1785 who also changed the columns at either end to Greek Ionic and faced them in scagliola, fashionably simulating Siena marble.
When to visit
Open every Sunday (except during August) from 10.30am – 4.30pm (last tour).
Access is by guided tour, which lasts approximately 1 hour.