Leeds nostalgia: Oldest bed in Leeds stately home on show

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Lavish and luxurious, Temple Newsam’s crimson state bed is well and truly fit for a queen.

The eye-catching bed is more than 300 years old and was commissioned in 1711 by John, 1st Earl Poulett as part of a concerted effort to impress his monarch, Queen Anne, who had given him the prestigious job of Lord Steward of the Household. The bed was originally the centrepiece of the opulent state bedroom at the Earl’s home of Hinton House in Somerset, where he had renamed an entire suite of rooms in the Queen’s honour.

This extraordinary bed is a unique window into the lavish and extravagant lifestyles of people who were once fortunate enough to live in the beautiful surroundings of places like Temple Newsam

Coun Brian Selby, Leeds lead member for museums

In fact, so desperate was the Earl to find favour with his Queen that when his third son was born in 1711 he even named him Anne.

It was acquired by Temple Newsam in 1981 and in 2011 experts began an extensive restoration programme to restore the dilapidated bed to its former glory.

Today the bed is once again draped in crimson velvet and gold lace and covered by a canopy that weighs almost a ton.

The restoration project also saw several of its wooden features re-carved and the bed’s three mattresses replaced.Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “This extraordinary bed is a unique window into the lavish and extravagant lifestyles of people who were once fortunate enough to live in the beautiful surroundings of places like Temple Newsam.

“We’re very fortunate to have spectacular objects like this on display in Leeds.” For more details visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsamhouse

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