Dimensions: 51cm x 35cm
To listen to the audio description of this object either click the object audio MP3 file below which will play it in your default audio player, or press the play button which you will find after the object audio MP3 file and this will play it from within the web page. The play button can also be used to pause the audio. This button is followed by the elapsed and remaining time, and a further button to mute the audio.
Arranged neatly into a portrait A4 framed picture are 8 small and detailed hand-coloured engravings showing aspects of Bentley Priory; the Mansion House, its rooms, Italian gardens, and wider estate as they were in 1884, when Bentley Priory was a luxurious hotel.
The first image in the top left corner is titled ‘Italian Garden: Harrow in the Distance’. It shows the Italian Garden with views of Harrow in the distance, as viewed from a window at the back of the house. The spire of St Mary’s Church in Harrow on the Hill is positioned centrally to the picture, in the far distance. There is a man and a woman walking along the tree-lined path in the gardens and towards the grey stone fountain, which remains in the garden today. There are some potted trees along the edge of the path, the formality contrasting with the natural parkland beyond.
The two images below show two rooms inside the hotel. The first is of the grand staircase, viewed from the ground floor. There is a woman in a full, dark blue Victorian dress descending the stairs. The hall below is filled with rugs, plants, classical sculpture and furniture. The staircase is similar in appearance to how it appears in the Museum today. The steps are stone with a carpet runner; the staircase itself is constructed from ornately carved wood with brass balustrades.
The second picture shows the circular tribune room, now referred to as the Rotunda. The walls are a pale green and the glass dome above is flooding the room with light. There is a dark green circular seat in the centre on a large red rug and smaller dark green sofas around the edge of the room. On the walls are numerous framed artworks. On the left hand side is a lady in a dark red dress playing a piano.
On the third line is another picture of the Italian Gardens. The view is from the gardens showing the Mansion House positioned to the left. The wide path in front of the viewer is edged with potted trees on the left and a fountain to the right. There is a man with a walking stick facing away from the viewer and a woman and girl are in front of him feeding one of two peacocks.
The final picture is named ‘Lake with Mansion in the Distance’. The bright, light-blue lake is in the foreground, with a child and woman with their backs to the viewer feeding some swans on the lake. In the distance, further up the hill behind the lake, the Mansion House sits partly visible through the trees.
The three remaining pictures are much smaller and depict a wooden summerhouse, a rockery with a small pool of water, and the cedar garden with full height, green trees.