As far as is known this room has always been painted white, a rare exception to the universal use of seasoned oak panelling during the Stuart Interiors period. There is a plaster frieze above the oak panelling, and the walls of the room are divided by a carved frieze which is the same or similar in design to that on the plaster. The lower wainscot panels are plain all the way round including those on the doors. The ceiling is plain and the general effect is one of richness without being too ornate. Possibly if the room were larger it would not be so pleasing.
There were instances during the Stuart Interiors design period where, not content with the carved oak panelling decoration alone, flower pieces were painted inside each arcaded panel and quite often the arcading was used as a frame for texts or paintings of saints. To illustrate this I have included a drawing from one of the larger rooms at Chastleton where every possible space has received individual attention either from painting or carving. The frieze contains a series of square pictures divided by carved caryatids and pilasters. All the centre panels have carved designs inside the central arcading. Groups of flowers appear in the surrounding panels-the whole is overpoweringly ornate.
Although Chastleton House is undoubtedly a mansion, there were smaller country houses that boasted the same or similar decorations at one time in their history, but as I have already explained, there are very few examples left in this country that retain all their original features.
arch and decorated spandrels had gone. Stone and wooden mullions were both used and small leaded panes in various shapes gave interest to the smaller casement windows. Larger windows throughout the country were mullioned with a transom or cross bar, occasionally coloured glass with the family arms appeared in the hall, but in the normal way the glass used was that same delicately tinted thin glass already mentioned.
This window with its finely moulded mullions and transoms is typical not only of Elizabethan time but of the Early Stuart as well, and although the sash window was said to have been first used in England during James I's reign it was not generally in use until the end of the 17th century.
The sash window was known in France at this time and often appears in the background of Abraham Bosse's famous engravings of the 1620-1640 period.
The oak paneling panelled screen at Widworthy Barton was introduced into this house somewhere between 1600 and 1610 when the whole place was done up after a recent fire; by such events only can we definitely date these things. The design might easily have been that of 30 years earlier, or indeed 30 years later, as it is much the same as the Hoarstone room shown in the colour plate.
Carved Oak and Painted Designs. Stoned Mullioned Windows
c. 1603 - 1614