Take a 360° tour of the first floor and attic of Blakesley Hall.
The majority of the rooms can be found on the first floor, with only the attic on the second floor.
The Long Gallery is an unusual feature in a typical farmhouse such as Blakesley Hall as they were usually found in upper-class homes. This indicates Richard Smalbroke’s wealth and his aspirations as a middle-class gentleman.
You can see the entrances to each of the bedrooms along the left wall. More commonly, these rooms would have led into one another rather than leading off a single corridor.
The Long Gallery would have been used for exercise, entertaining and dances.
In 1941, during WW2 a bomb intending to hit a nearby spitfire factory exploded nearby and caused extensive damage to Blakesley Hall and it was 16 years until Hall was re-opened. However, the bomb damage also revealed rare sixteenth century painted walls which had probably been covered in the mid to late seventeenth century. This is where the Painted Chamber gets its name.
Look at the back wall. Can you see the black streaks on the timber? These are from the smoke of candles which once burned on candle-holders to light the room.
The bed in this room is called a tester bed and has a truckle bed beneath it. These types of beds were very popular at the time and were used by either children or servants.
The drapes hung around the room are based on the original design in the painted chamber. The design would have included lilies and pomegranates which symbolised fertility and fidelity.
This is another bedroom which would have belonged to a family member. However it is currently set up as a typical servants room.
Four or five servants would have shared this sized bed and any more would have had to sleep on the floor. Whilst family members had beds made of feathers or wool, servants would be lucky if they had straw.
The Porch Chamber was used as Richard Smalbroke’s office. Only Richard would have been allowed access to this room.
The room lies directly above the front porch of the house where the main door is so that Richard would have been able to see who was approaching his household from his office.
The servants would have most definitely lived in the attic. However, attics would have been used as a combined space for the storage of food, grain and cheeses, as well as a living space.
Since Blakesley Hall was built, it has had a tiled roof. This means the attic is both extremely cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer, making it very uncomfortable as living quarters.
It is thought that in the far corner, to the right of the window, there was a staircase for servant use to keep them separate from the family throughout the house.
Continue to see inside Blakesley Hall by exploring the ground floor.