Market Lavington Museum

Clyffe Hall – books and dining room items – 1898

Today we will take a second look at some of the Clyffe Hall contents up for auction in 1898. The Hon. Louisa Hay had been a widow for many long years and had no children to pass her estate on to after her death.

During the first day of the auction, the contents of the dining room and drawing room went under the hammer.

We can see from the dimensions of the carpets that the rooms were quite large. Presumably the dining room had three windows. Carpets weren’t fitted in those days, so there would probably have been uncarpeted areas around the edges of the rooms. The rooms were heated with coal fires and there were hearth rugs in front of the fireplaces. It would seem that at least eight people could have been seated around the extended table. A large home like Clyffe Hall would have had a range of servants cooking, serving, cleaning and so on. The butler’s table in the inventory lends credence to this and the tea caddy table reminds us that back in the 1700s, tea was very expensive and was locked away in caddies. (Clyffe Hall itself was built in 1732.) By the time of Louisa Hay’s death, tea was more commonplace.

The sale also included over 700 books, some of which are listed below.

We imagine many of these reflected the interests of Louisa Hay’s late father, Duncombe Pleydell Bouverie, who had been a vice-admiral. (This link shows his obituary in 1850 and details many of the areas of the world he visited.)

We will return to the sale brochure on another occasion.