When the construction of the house was first completed in 1704 after the land was acquired by the Bridges in 1700, the Round Room was initially the Entrance Hall. This reception room is laden with historical treasures and tales in its changing purpose in the house and surviving original decor. The house, over the centuries since its construction, has undergone remarkably few architectural changes.
Sir Brook Bridges 3rd Baronet, was responsible for the first of these in remodelling the house; under the influence of Robert Mylne, a Scottish architect he consulted known for designing the interiors at Inveraray Castle, the 3rd Baronet enlarged the house. He had a third storey built and transformed the then entrance hall, creating its idiosyncratic oval design with painted walls from which originates its current name. In this same renovation, he had the outside walls covered in stucco, something promptly removed in the following renovation less than a century later by the 5th Baronet during the Victorian era. This era marks another notable period in the house’s architectural features: the entrance hall was moved to the other side of the house, built as a neo-classical Doric portico on the west facade, rendering the previous entrance hall into a reception room, the Round Room. At this time, a coat of arms was also carved into the east pediment.
One of the most distinctive features of this reception room is its painted panels; marked with intricately detailed patterns of flowers, cherubs and birds, these are typical of the Georgian neo-classical style. Indeed, one of the panels still bears the marks of the house’s Second World War requisition in the dart marks created by the Canadian officers who inhabited the house during its occupation. With old family heirlooms of books and pottery lining the shelves in one corner, this is a room whose historical integrity has been preserved, creating a real repository of ancient treasures in its very walls as well as its artefacts. There are also double doors that open out on to the east terraces and expansive gardens. This room can be set up flowers and seating for civil wedding ceremonies.
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