A spectacular Gothic pollard oak extending circular table circa 1840 attributed to Gillows

Commissioned by the 2nd Earl of Mountnorris for Arley Castle Worcestershire.



This magnificent table designed in the fashionable Gothic style popularised by Augustus Pugin from the 1830's has a segmented top veneered in beautifully figured pollarded timber centred with a rounded inset. The shaped and stepped octagonal base with faceted panels to the column rests on brass castors stamped Lewty patent.

Arley Castle stood on high ground, commanding a view of the Severn Valley and the Wyre Forest. The earliest part of the house lay to the south and was a 16th century two-storeyed block, extended in the reign of James I, which was the dower house of the Lytteltons of Frankley and Hagley Hall. In 1843-44, the last year of his life, the 2nd Earl of Mountnorris added to this old house an enormous Gothic castle consisting of a high square tower, huge lower towers flanking a great gateway and a monumental wing stretching away at the rear.  The architects were Richard Varden of Worcester (1812-73) and J. Varden, perhaps his brother. At the same time the old wing was completely refurbished and only the two staircases – one Elizabethan, the other Jacobean remained from the original building.

Arley was sold to the Woodward family in 1852, and after the death of Robert Woodward in 1921 the house was let to a girls’ school. This was a case where the anticipated heir had been killed in the First World War; Sir Chad Woodward, who inherited on his father’s death, was a surgeon and divided his time between his duties as a landowner and in the operating theatre. He moved to Arley Cottage on the estate, which remained in the family until recently. In 1959 the estate was bought by Roger D. Turner, a Black Country businessman, who demolished most of it in 1962-63; part of the gatehouse survives.

Sir Chad Woodward donated the table to Bramshill House in Hampshire on the 2nd of January 1955 from whence it remained for the next 60 years till the present day.

A spectacular Gothic pollard oak extending circular table circa 1840 attributed to Gillows -