A few weeks ago the Great Hall at Trerice, which is only lit by sunlight through the 576 paned window, had just the right sort of light to pick up details in the plasterwork frieze. The frieze is runs around the two-storey room at ceiling height, so it is not often that much attention gets paid to it because it is so high up and the light’s not always very good. There’s been many times when we’ve seen it but not actually looked at it!
Closer inspection of the frieze came about when it was asked why Homer Simpson should be depicted in the plaster… doh! turns out it wasn’t Homer but a lady wearing something like Tudor dress and headwear.
This one’s in the middle of the frieze on the Musicians’ Gallery wall, above the door from the Screens Passage to the Hall.
Most of the figures are completely different, although those in the corners of the room, diagonally facing each other are very similar, but have minor differences. We’re in the process of researching more about them, and whether they are just generic images or have a stronger link to Trerice and the family who lived there. It might be very fanciful, but they could be portraits of the Arundell family…
We’ve been wondering if it’s possible to date the figures from the styles of clothes and hats they’re wearing.
Going clockwise around the room from the lady’s image, at 12 o’clock, the others are:
This one’s in the other corner of that wall next to the window. Originally it was thought that it was a scary looking baby but it seems to have a beard, so could be an old man.
This one’s on the side of the room with the window, opposite the fireplace (at about 4 o’clock). It has some similarities to the brass of Sir John Arundell in armour in Stratton Church.
This one’s diagonally opposite its ‘twin’.
This one’s in the centre of the frieze (at 6 o’clock to the lady’s image).
This one’s diagonally opposite the similar one near the window.
The next two are above the fireplace, opposite the window, which might suggest a place of importance.
The last is back on the first wall at the Musicans’ Gallery end, in the corner.
We’re wondering if it’s possible to date them from their clothes and hairstyles?
Thanks to Emily Hide for the photos.