Peter Thellusson: Birth: 1850. Death: 1899
Herbert Thellusson: Birth: 1854. Death: 1903
Aline Thellusson: Birth: 1856. Death: 1880
Constance Thellusson: Birth: 1859. Death: 1893
Charles Thellusson: Birth: 1860. Death: 1919
Augustus Thellusson: Birth: 1862. Death: 1937
Note: Brodsworth Hall - Doncaster, South Yorkshire (EH)
The present Brodsworth Hall was built and furnished between 1861 and 1863, and it remains very much as it was in Victorian times. The then owner, Charles Sabine Augustas Thellusson brought in the Italian architect, Chevalier Casentini, after he inherited the existing mid-eighteenth century hall. The famous Will of his great grandfather, Peter Thellusson, meant that he inherited the property and estate after all the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons who were alive in Peter's day had died. Charles set about rebuilding Brodsworth Hall as an up-to-date family home, with all the Victorian love of colour and show. Although the outside that of a restrained Italianate palace, from the moment you enter the hall, the colour and texture impress you through the gloom. The floor is laid with beautiful blue, yellow and white Minton tiles, which are complimented by the borders of the crimson curtains and carpets. The pillars gleam softly in the subdued lighting, and are not in fact true marble, but a more fragile amalgam. The walls are painted to look like different coloured marble panels, and against this colour-fest of red, blue, green and yellow, the first of many white marble sculptures stand out like exclamation marks.
The family passions for yachting and horseracing are referred to in the equestrian paintings and the ornamental cannons, used for starting yacht races. On the left of the hall as you enter, is the morning room. Much brighter, this would have been used for letter writing and relaxing during the day. On the walls hang hand-blocked wallpaper, designed to resemble the richly ornate stamped leather wallpaper seen in much older houses. The garish colours of deep blue, chocolate brown and gold would have made this an intimate and richly decorated family room. The room also contains a portrait of the builder of Brodsworth.
The dining room, although grand in scale for lavish entertaining, is surprisingly bare of decoration. The coffered and gilded ceiling is grand enough, but the plainly painted walls offer the senses some relief. Originally, there was a crimson carpet to enliven the scene. The South Hall is a bright space, the grandeur of the mustard-coloured pillars and the classically inspired sculpture contrasting somewhat with the delicate eighteenth century gilt furniture. The walls here were originally hung with crimson silk, but this was mercifully replaced in about 1914 with the present yellow, to match the columns. The doors and fire-surround, as in other parts of the house, are eighteenth century survivals from the first Hall.
The Billiard room is impressive, with once plush leather seats surrounding the huge slate table, to enable the gentlemen after dinner to smoke and watch the play. The rooms is an interior one, and the lack of openable windows must have always been a problem. Two ventilation hatches were installed in the high ceiling.
At the end of the West Hall, enlivened by stained glass, more painted marble wall panels and a beautiful sculpture of a sleeping girl, is, for me, the most delightful room of the house, the Drawing room. Although originally stuffed full of ornaments, mirrors, gilding and flowers, the century and more of light from the huge windows, has left a gentle air of faded grandeur in this pretty space. The columns are not overpowering, the chandeliers are stylish and the painted ceiling is a delight. Very Italian in style, it has elements of the classical blending harmoniously with little blue birds holding ribbons.
The remaining ground floor rooms are the library and the Lathe room, so called as Charles Sabine Thellusson used it for his hobby of woodturning. Now it is a repository of the kind of interesting 'junk' a house collects over the years.
On the first floor are sixteen rooms, originally unified into suites by their decoration and upholstery. There are some very interesting family photographs reproduced for display, showing the continuance of Charles' love of yachting. The servants' rooms are also open, surprisingly large. Downstairs again is the not to be missed original kitchen, with more pots, pans and kitchen implements than you would believe possible. The Butler's Pantry and Still Room, used by the Grant-Daltons in the early part of this century as a more manageable kitchen, are also open.
Outside, the gardens have been much restored and interesting corners and grottoes provide a contrast to the croquet lawns and elegant stone greyhounds at the sides of the house.
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