LIBRARY, CRANBORNE MANOR, DORSET
Cranborne Manor in Dorset, the home of Lord and Lady Cranborne, has grown over the centuries around a Royal Hunting Lodge, built probably for King John in the early 12th Century. Much of the rest of the house is of the 16th Century, the West wing, housing the Library, of the early 17th Century.
As a way of marking the millennium, Lord and Lady Cranborne undertook the complete redecoration of the Library, including a new fireplace, the design celebrating the natural history of the locality. The new mantle piece is carved from Portland Stone and Purbeck Marble, the overmantle from limewood. The decorative swags are made of the wild flowers and plants of Cranborne Chase and hide a number of small animals and birds.
The fireplace and overmantle were designed in collaboration with the carver Dick Reid who also executed the new door surrounds that carry the double 'MM' of the millennium.