Buscot Park Today


Buscot Park todayBuscot Park in Oxfordshire

The Saloon, on the North Front of Buscot Park in Oxfordshire, was restored and refurbished by Alidad in 1995 to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the installation of the Burne-Jones’ cycle, and the centenary of the National Trust Foundation. 

046The Saloon at Buscot Park

As early as 1871 Burne-Jones began a series illustrating the story of the Sleeping Beauty. The four large pictures that composed the final version were exhibited in 1890 at Agnew’s Bond Street gallery, and all London flocked to see them. The pictures had always been intended for use a decorations, and the 1st Lord Farringdon acquired them for the Drawing Room at Buscot. When Burne-Jones visited the house soon afterwards their setting did not satisfy him so he designed a framework of carved and gilt wood which would give unity to the four pictures - The Briar Wood, The Council Room, The Garden Court and The Rose Bower. For the intervening spaces he painted panels that continue the rose motif.

Detail from Burne-Jones The Legend of the Briar RoseDetail from Burne-Jones The Legend of Briar Rose : the Garden Court

Today The Saloon shows off its original late 18th Century platerwork ceilings and frieze in a delicate neo-classical style. Before Alidad’s refurbishment of The Saloon there had been a large, marble fireplace in the room and it was during the project Alidad discovered that this fireplace was covering up part of the writing on the frieze. It became apparent that this fireplace was not the original as Burne-Jones would not have designed the fireplace to cover up the writing.  With the help of Thomas Messel and a picture in an old Country Life magazine, Alidad was able to restore the fireplace to how it was meant to look.

Old Marble FireplaceThis old site photo shows the old marble fireplace that was there before the restoration

After Fireplace Buscot Park SaloonThe same fireplace after the restoration

Ceiling BeforeThe Saloon ceiling; site photograph during the restoration

Ceiling AfterCeiling after the restoration was completed

The set of giltwood chairs and the settee are empire and bear the stamp of the ebeniste Pierre-Antoine Bellange (1757-1840) They are almost identical to those supplied to Madame du Cayla for the Chateau de Saint-Ouen in 1818, and to a suite of c.1808 to be seen at Fontainebleu. During the restoration project Alidad located the original point papers for the fabric on the chairs and the fabric was woven in exactly the same way as it was the first time.

Pierre-Antoine Bellange ChairOne of the giltwood chairs

Pierre-Antoine Bellange ChairsOne of the chairs restored to its former glory