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Erddig's State Bed

A double bed with an opulent fabric-covered canopy is surrounded by decorative furniture inside the State Bedroom at Erddig, Clwyd, which has green wallpaper with a floral pattern.
The State Bedroom at Erddig | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Erddig’s State Bed was once a place reserved for the home’s most privileged guests. Erddig’s restoration and conservation project provides visitors the rare opportunity to see its exquisite detail, that only those lucky enough to sleep in the bed would have experienced.

What is Erddig’s State Bed project?

At the top of the stairs overlooking the estate you’ll find Erddig’s State Bedroom, a place once used to accommodate the home’s most distinguished guests.

The bedroom is adorned in a beautiful hand painted Chinese wallpaper and holds a rare surviving bed known as a lit a duchesse or ‘angel’ tester bed dating from 1723.

The bed was hung with delicate Chinese embroidered silk satin textiles; a bed cover and valances, a tester with valances and curtains, all in original white silk, embroidered with Chinese figures, pagodas, birds and flowers.

However, by 1968 the bed was in a severe state of deterioration following decades of coal mining subsidence that caused water ingress directly onto the bed. It was rescued from near dereliction by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Since its installation back at Erddig in 1977, the bed has remained untouched, except for a minor intervention in 1995.

Unfortunately, more recent condition reports once again highlighted its poor condition with the 1968 treatment failing. As a result, in 2019 the National Trust team began their six-year conservation project to restore the bed, generously funded by The Wolfson Foundation.

Close up of a curtain from Erddig's State Bed
Close up of a curtain from Erddig's State Bed | © Erddig

Chinese silk curtains now on display

The embroidered Chinese silk curtains had started to split and fray, and so they underwent 1200 hours of conservation cleaning and repair by textile specialists; damaged old repairs were removed and loose areas of silk and embroidery were secured.

For over 300 years, the curtains have only been visible through a glass screen in the State Bedroom, but now visitors are invited to see the exquisite detail of these Chinese embroidered silk curtains on display in the Print Room.

With people at the heart of National Trust, Erddig was keen to ensure visitors can engage with the bed as the project work progresses.

Susanne Gronnow, Erddig’s Property Curator says “I first saw the bed over 20 years ago, but because it’s so fragile it’s the one object in Erddig Hall that has always been looked after by external specialists. So, until the curtains went on display even I had never seen the detail close enough to appreciate its beauty.

I really encourage visitors to take their time and notice the details, including the peacocks which could only ever be seen from the underside of the bed canopy and would appear to hover over the sleeping person.”

Plan your next visit to see the display for yourself.

Timeline of the project


Treatment trials

Conservation treatment trials began in which elements of bed were taken to a conservation studio for in depth assessment and consider the various options moving forward.

A large kitchen with blue painted walls. A long wooden table is in the middle of the room, with cooking range on the left, herbs hanging from the ceilings and copper pots on the shelves.

Visiting the house at Erddig 

Saved from ruin, Erddig is a rare survivor teeming with treasures. From servants’ portraits to fine furnishings, discover the top things to see and do when you visit the house.

A mother is holding her child and pointing at a display of pictures on the walls of a hallway in the house at Erddig, Clwyd.

Erddig’s collection 

Erddig has the second largest collection of items in the whole of the National Trust. With a total of 30,000 to care for, it's no mean feat for the house team of conservators and volunteers. We’re an accredited museum too.

The 18th century parterre garden at Erddig in Wales on a sunny day in May, with formal flowerbeds in the foreground.

History of Erddig 

Find out about the High Sheriff who lived beyond his means when he built Erddig, the rich London lawyer who extended and redecorated it and 240 years of the Yorke family.

Wooden board hung with brass bells. They are labelled White Room, West Room, Drawing Room and Front Hall.

History of the servants’ lives at Erddig 

Why did the Yorkes remember their staff in pictures and poems? Discover a day in the servants’ lives at Erddig and learn why a housekeeper ended up in court.