Medieval sculptures from the private collection at Haddon Hall will be unveiled as part of its autumnal Oak Matters exhibition this month.
The exhibition, which will run in The Great Chamber surrounded by Haddon’s magnificent Verdure tapestries, pays homage to Haddon’s oak trees, showing previously unseen early English Oak carvings.
The medieval sculptures date back to between the 15th-17th centuries. Two sculptures are of St James and St Nicholas, one is a very rare, extremely fine carving of a medieval knight at prayer and another is a very rare pew end, depicting a bishop preaching from a barrel to a congregation of fowl, which represented a pre-Reformation critique of the established church.
There is also a beautifully carved section of wooden beam and a collection of medieval sculptures of minstrels. The sculptures will be accompanied by other fine English bible boxes and paper boxes from the Tudor and Elizabethan periods.
Haddon’s connection to oak extends back centuries and its influence can be seen throughout the hall today. The very sinews of the Hall itself are oak timbers. Wherever you look, the storied Tudor home offers up a celebration of oak: in its panelling, wide beams and floor boards, furniture and its tapestries that feature oak trees and foliage.
Lady Edward Manners said: “Haddon Hall has a truly wonderful story to tell, there are centuries of history and tales of old to uncover as you wander from room to room.
“Our exhibitions provide us with an additional opportunity to extend that knowledge further, and show other aspects to Haddon, from its connections to its many craftsmen, who were integral to its maintenance, to its historic symbols, tapestries and woodwork and so much more.
“For our celebration of oaks at Haddon Hall, we wanted to show some sculptures that have never been seen by the public before. They are of incredible historical significance and we’re excited to share them for the first time this autumn.”
In addition to the exhibition, on September 21-22 and 28-29, there will be additional educational outreach and activities for children, including the opportunity to pick their own acorns, to take home and plant in their garden.
For more details go to http://www.haddonhall.co.uk