Portico Room and Drawing Room
The “Portico Room” – with its handsome white chimney piece procured from Yorkshire, provided the main entrance to the house in Carr’s design, as it does today. The work of Yorkshire craftsmen – the plasterer Thomas Oliver and the wood carvers Daniel Shillito and Mathew Bertram – is well represented here and in the other rooms.
The Drawing Room was originally designed by Carr as the Dining Room and is in plan the mirror-image of his Drawing Room in the south-west of the central block. The simple Jonesian design for the ceiling, enriched by Thomas Oliver’s naturalistic plasterwork, was intended to complement the room’s original function. The white chimney piece supplied by Carr is the finest in the house.
Common Parlour and Dining Room
The Common Parlour is the most characteristic example of Carr’s style of interior design surviving at Tabley. Its original function was to provide a link between the ‘public’ rooms at the front and ‘private’ bedrooms and dressing rooms at the back of the house. It provides the counterbalance, both functionally and in terms of the bows in the east and west fronts, to the original Library, located where the central bay of the Gallery is today. Restrained plaster work in Rococo style by Oliver decorates the ceiling.
The Dining Room was created in 1840-45 when the wall dividing the easternmost dressing room from the adjoining bedchamber was removed. The fireplace, by George Bullock, made from Anglesey marble, replaces the original bed- or dressing room fireplace.
Oak Hall and Gallery
The Oak Hall is named for the oak trees that grew on the site prior to 1760. The leisurely ascent of the cantilevered mahogany staircase, with its triple balusters, is typical of Carr. The grandeur of the space is reinforced by the crisp carving of the mahogany by Shillito and Thomas Oliver’s plasterwork.
The Gallery is one of the great rooms of Cheshire. It incorporates the Drawing Room, Library and a bedroom and dressing room from Carr’s original design. Its evolution is not yet fully researched, but it appears that its development started at the end of the 18th Century, was substantially completed by 1814 and was modified further in 1840-45. The wallpaper is a modern reproduction derived from the original.