This view of about 1710 shows the west front of Audley End House, near Saffron Walden, in Essex. It includes in the foreground the walls of the outer court, which was demolished less than 20 years after the painting was completed. The panel was painted as part of the interior decoration of Bower Hall (built c.1710; demolished 1926) in the village of Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, about nine miles east of Saffron Walden, where it was displayed over the fireplace.
A description of the Bower Hall, published in 1916, states: '...in the hall, of dark marble with moulded jambs, moulded and enriched stops and a square head; the frieze is carved with military trophies in very low relief, and above it is a panel with a 17th-century painting of Audley End House...'
Engineer and engraver Henry Winstanley was Clerk of Works for Audley End and the King's house at Newmarket from 1679; in day-to-day charge of maintenance work undertaken by the Office of Works. He engraved and published a set of 24 plans and views of Audley End, between about 1676 and 1688. The original issue was followed by a smaller sized set of the prints. The plates were later issued for a third time as a supplement to the ‘Britannia illustrata, or, Views of several of the queen's palaces, as also of the principal seats of the nobility and gentry of Great Britain’ by Johannes Kip (c.1653-c.1721).
Overmantel from Bower Hall, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex (demolished 1926); sold through Lacy, Scott & Sons, Bury St.Edmunds, on 30 June 1970; collection of John Dolphin; from whom purchased by the Department of the Environment in December 1970
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