Carved Newel

(Click on the photo for added detail.)
Carved Newel. (Click on the photo for added detail.)

A quick break to share a photo from about this time last year. During our time in England we visited many stately homes and other properties, particularly those in the care of the National Trust. One of the features I looked out for was the elaborate (and must have been expensive) woodwork often to be found in such properties. There is something about the look and feel of wood panelled walls, sturdy desks, and elaborate staircases that defines the look of an old English home for the well-to-do. Perhaps, as someone who dabbles in woodwork, I couldn’t resist admiring the craftsmanship and the patronage that allowed such craftsmanship to flourish.

This particular photo shows an elaborate carved newel for a stairwell at Ightham Mote. It wasn’t even a principal stairwell or anything like that. I can’t remember for certain what this stairwell was referred to as, but I recall it just led to a small hallway to a side-door on the property. And yet it had a huge wood-carved statue as a newel post.

Taking this photo was rather tricky, partly because of the limited space in the surroundings, but mostly because of the difficulty in making so many angles make sense in the picture. The staircase makes a right angle turn just behind this, and the stairs themselves divide this angle, which is rather unusual. I also wanted to take the photo from slightly higher than the statue to avoid obscuring important details, which led to some perspective distortion. Finally, there was a mix of tungsten lighting from within the room and daylight from the doorway further back.


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