The Drawing Room at Biddulph Grange

Conservation work on the drawing room ceiling

Conservation work on the drawing room has begun with the removal of wallpaper from two sections of coving. Underneath we have discovered a hand-painted design by Henry Scholtz, a French decorator who worked for the Crace & Sons Design Company from the 1830s to the 1890s.

History of the room

James Bateman designed Biddulph Grange as his house in the style of an Italianate villa.

The current drawing room was his library but there are few descriptions of it remaining. When he sold his home to Robert Heath, the sale catalogue described the drawing room as -

"in the Greek style with red, flatted walls; white and gold panelled ceiling, fitted bookcases and marble mantlepieces".

Garden designer and botanist, James Bateman
Garden designer and botanist, James Bateman
Garden designer and botanist, James Bateman

Robert Heath, local mining magnate and industrialist, bought Biddulph Grange in 1871. He commissioned Crace & Sons to redesign the interior. Bateman's library was transformed into an elaborate drawing room with stunning frescos and gilding. Heath's son later altered the design when he inherited the house in 1893. Changes were almost complete when a devastating fire broke out and destroyed much of the house and the interior of this room.

Crace & Sons Design Company

Crace & Sons were distinguished British interior designers. They were famous for work on buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the National Gallery and worked alongside architect Augustus Pugin to decorate the interior of the Houses of Parliament.

Signature of artist, Henry Scholz, discovered on the drawing room ceiling
Signature of artist, Henry Scholz, discovered on the drawing room ceiling
Signature of artist, Henry Scholz, discovered on the drawing room ceiling