Spotlight on the Castle: The Library

The Library
July 24 2019 | Castle History

The Library

Overlooking the moat and Anne Boleyn’s orchard, the stunning Library originally contained 2,500 books which were bound in calf and Moroccan leather for William Waldorf Astor, and gilt-tooled with his coat of arms. Many of these books were printed on private presses in Paris and New York during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The bookcases in the Library are inspired by those owned by the diarist, Samuel Pepys.

In Tudor times this room was most likely an estate office and Astor tried to recreate a sense of its history when he chose it as his library. The carvings are in the style of Grinling Gibbons and made from a wood called sabicu, which is harder than ebony and dense enough to sink in water. The ceiling is copied from Hampton Court Palace and the circular mahogany ‘drum’ table dates from around 1820. Above the fireplace is a portrait of Johann Jakob Astor, great-grandfather of William Waldorf Astor and founder of the family’s fortune in the late 18th century.

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