Panelled Chamber


This room was constructed between 1653 and 1656, during the short period known as the Commonwealth when England was a Republic under Oliver Cromwell. The oak-panelled walls of the chamber are almost unchanged since those days apart from the removal in the 1920s of the partition which originally divided the room into a large entertaining room and a small bedchamber. The strapwork fireplace in limestone is surmounted by an elaborately carved overmantel with niches for the display of objects. The oriel windows give an unrivalled view of Marlborough's famous High Street although part of the original broad sweep of windows has been covered by later external tile-hanging.

Panelled Chamber in 1926
1926 appearance of the Panelled Chamber

Panelled Chamber
And as it is now

Panelled Chamber window
Panelled chamber oriel sundial window

Thomas Bayly in Panelled Chamber
Mr Bayly at the window

The Stained Glass Sundial
Sundial The 17th century stained glass sundial in the left hand window of the Panelled Chamber has the Latin inscription, 'Dum Spectas Fugio' - While you watch I fly. The painted "3D" housefly in the centre is a pun on the word fly. 'Sic Vita' - Such is Life. The sundial would have been used for regulating clocks and watches.

Handpainted 3D fly
Photo: Mark Lawrence