Aldermaston Manor House 1851- Staircase and wooden statues (narrative below pictures) Click on each photo to see the whole image.
Peter Oldridge, 2012
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Originally installed in the 1836 Manor House, the magnificent oak staircase and its nineteen cherry-wood statues survived the disastrous fire which consumed most of that building in 1843. Eight years later, Mr Daniel Higford Burr and his wife decided to build a new Manor House but to incorporate many items from the previous building.
In fact, the Higford Burrs rebuilt the staircase rotating the in the opposite direction- and there is a very odd section at the top which does not match the floors of the new building. Photos of some of the magnificent wooden statues are shown above. They include mythical figures from Roman and Greek mythology and also famous and local figures. The first image shows the staircase in place in the previous, 1636 house while the second photo shows how the staircase as re-installed in 1851 has been “handed” to wind the other way. Noteworthy are the first four photos of Neptune which follow: at least up till the 1980’s he held his trident aloft in his right hand: today his hand is empty, thanks to some unscrupulous visitor or guest! Next, right at the top of the staircase is the most dramatic figure, a bearded man preparing to hurl a baby into the abyss. This is presumably represents Abraham. Following is clearly Diana the Huntress. While many of the statues have yet to be identified, the above photos give some idea of the extraordinary quality and attention to detail of the carvings. The last image but one, of a leathery demon crouching at the foot of one of the statues, is exceptionally fine. The very last image taken in 2012 shows the top of the staircase under the roof. Interestingly, the staircase does not “fit” at the top. This was one of the first to feature a pierced parapet instead of banisters.
Details of the magnificent stained glass windows can be found by clicking on:
All the above photos: Peter Oldridge