the chief beauty of the castle
Horace Walpole’s Description 1784

The Hall and Staircase

The Hall and Staircase, which Walpole described as ‘the chief beauty of the castle’ was originally hung with paper painted with gothic arches, the design taken from the screen of Prince Arthur’s tomb in Worcester cathedral. This has been recreated by Tom Organ and team from the Wall Paintings Workshop, who painted individual elements by hand on paper in their studio, before hanging and adding additional tints and shadows on site. On ascending the staircase you can see some of Walpole’s original decoration which was revealed by our conservators.

Modern interpretations (by John McLean) of Walpole’s ‘lean arched windows filled with long saints’ have been installed either side of the front door to replace the lost originals.

The balustrade was designed by Bentley and decorated with antelopes holding shields, which have been restored and protected from touch by brass hoops. In the well of the staircase a Gothic lantern gives the only light. Our lantern is a reproduction of the original, funded by the Friends of Strawberry Hill.

The Hall and Staircase The Hall The Hall and Staircase at night