There is a warm and cozy feel to this room which proved a challenge for Dr. Rolph as this atmosphere is very difficult to achieve in a Gothic castle. The wallpaper is a design by Pugin for the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament). It was printed from thirteen original wood blocks from the archives of the Cole Wallpaper Company in London. The carpet, specially woven for this room, was designed by Dr. Rolph, the concept based on one in the old Eaton Hall. It was woven by Mercia Weavers in England. The lily and rose design is from the wallpaper, the border design is based on the stone balcony on the Gothic bank building in front of the Dorchester Hotel in London. The rosewood bookcases and drape rod & brackets are original to the castle. The pelmet over the drapes was based on a Gothicised Georgian design.The portrait is of King James II of England (also James VII of Scotland), painted by a student of Sir Peter Lely. The chairs by Holland and Sons are also original to the castle and are similar to ones by Pugin in the Prince’s Chamber at the Palace of Westminster. Originally in the Dining Room, they display the Mowbray, Segrave and Stourton arms. The octagonal table and the table behind the desk are in oak. The rectangular table at the window is in walnut. The Gothic sofa table inlaid with ebony, ivory and boxwood showing in design both the characteristics of Charles Bevan and John Pollard Seddon is in walnut and mahogany. The bronze statues were purchased from a variety of sources.
Affects of the fire:
The fire totally destroyed everything on the entire south wall of the Library and all of these bookcases are new, built by Castle restoration staff. Fortunately, at the time of the fire work was being done in this room so all the furnishings had been removed and a heavy visquine plastic sheet protected most of the carpet. Where the fire embers and lead burned through, new pieces of carpet were inserted which are almost invisible. The entire ceiling had to be replaced due to water making the original plaster unstable. The new ceiling and cornice being cast from moulds, made and painted as per the original. Most of the books including the entire reference section were either burned or destroyed by water saturation.