Eastnor Castle, a 19th century mock or revival castle, lies in Herefordshire at the foot of the stunning Malvern Hills, surrounded by a beautiful deer park, an arboretum and a lake. It certainly has a fairytale appeal.
As well as a fascinating and award-winning visitor attraction, Eastnor is used for everything from weddings through to a location for filming. It boasts room after room of awe-inspiring décor and treasures, but perhaps the most outstanding room of all is the Drawing Room, especially its extravagant focal point – the fireplace.
It was commissioned by the 2nd Earl John Somersin 1949, when Gothic design was the height of fashion.
The fireplace was the creation of Augustus Wellby Northmore Pugin, famous for assisting Charles Barry with the design of the Houses of Parliament amongst numerous other famous buildings. Pugin was the authority on Gothic design and came personally to supervise the installation of the fireplace. The remainder of the room was undertaken by the Crace brothers from Pugin’s designs and is now one of few complete rooms of his that remains to this day.
Queen Mary stayed at Eastnor for five days in 1937 and was reported to have sat by the fire several times during her visit.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, also used to spend time at the castle on informal visits and would have enjoyed the ambiance created by the fire.
And celebrities from Sammy Davis Junior through to Davina Mccall will also have had the opportunity to admire this stunning piece of history during their visits to Easton. Sammy Davis was there to film with MGM in 1969,whilst Davina chose the castle as the venue for her wedding.
Spare a thought for the the cleaning staff though, who have to carefully wash the fireplace with warm soapy water and a soft brush before drying it off with a cloth by hand.