This section is from the "An Architectural And Historical Account Of Crosby Place, London" book, by Edward L. Blackburn. Also see Amazon: An Architectural And Historical Account Of Crosby Place, London.
Nothing now remains, as previously mentioned, of the finish at this end of the hall. In many examples a large window relieved the wall above the high-pace, as at Westminster, Winchester, Guildhall, and Hampton Court; in the former statues are used in addition, to fill up the void space, and in many heraldic carvings and sculpture appear.
The space appropriated for the situation of the high table at Crosby Place, seems to have exceeded the usual dimensions. It, no doubt, included the oriel, as this was a rule strictly followed; indeed, we often hear of the Lords' dining in the oriel, in which sense it referred to the relative situation or connexion of that feature with the Dais;* in this case it must also have included the fire-place, situated nearly opposite, and have extended about 20 feet into the room from the north end.
* The decorations of the Daiz or Dais, are thus described by an old writer: - "Sa Majeste estant revetue dautres tres somptueux habilleraens, se sied a table sur un haut daiz, prepare en la salle episcopate, et ornee dexcellentes tapisseries soubs un grand daiz de singuliere etoffe." - "Le Ceremonial de France, par Theodore Godefroy".
* Several representations of the canopied Dais arc to be met with in old drawings. Projecting canopies still adorn the halls of Samlesbury and Bolton; while something like a canopied Dais, but with less than the usual projection, occurs at Guildhall, London.
From the north-west corner of the hall a richly moulded door-way opened to the Withdrawing-room, but whether any direct communication ever existed with the room behind the Dais, must remain undecided. An entrance still exists, which formerly gave access to it from the "void piece of land" next St. Helen's Church-yard, and which was probably a small private garden or "Pleasaunce," annexed to the state-rooms. This entrance is similar to those in other parts of the building, with the addition of a small window of three lights, of a later character, over it. - See Frontispiece.
* Aubrey uses it in this sense - See note 2.
On the north of the outer court stood, as before observed, the great Dining-parlour and the Throne-room,exhibiting in elevation, externally, two ranges of windows, one above the other, of corresponding general character to those of the hall, though more elaborate in detail. An oriel or embayed window was also a portion of the original design, differing from that of the hall in size, and, by being divided internally into two heights, forming a bay in each floor. The bases and head of the upper one are yet visible on the inside. In Wilkinson's * restoration of the outer court, the oriel and the two ranges of windows are shown, incorrectly, however, inasmuch as that they are drawn far out of the real proportion; and he omits a small postern-door, which occupies the angle formed by the junction of the wall of the Dining-parlour with that of the Hall, as well as all notice of an old foundation, which, running parallel to the north range, at about 6 feet from it, direct to the centre face of the Hall oriel, now rises about 20 inches above the floor of the parlour, and 3 inches above the present level of the fore-court, which is 3 feet higher than that of the Hall. I can only account for the singular situation of this wall, by supposing it to have been the lower part of an open screen, extending between the oriels of the Hall and Withdrawing-room, inclosing and forming a cloistered porch before the postern in the angle. A close wall of any height would have interrupted the light to both the former and latter at this point: the mouldings of an open screen might have joined those of the centre mul-lion in the oriel lights, a large portion of which in the lower division has disappeared, while those of the upper remain. The postern itself is very curiously contrived. The passage is taken out of the thickness of the wall of the Dining-parlour, communicating with that room by a small door-way in its south-east angle, close to that leading into the Hall, and, passing by the base of the Hall oriel, opens upon the court by the side of one of the buttresses under an arched door-way within a square label or cornice. Only about 18 inches of the label and one jaumb is left, with a portion of the base of the other. Its mouldings are similar to those of the other smaller doors in the building, which are principally a bold bead and fillet between two curves. The passage-walls are fair-faced and square-jointed, and the vaulting is formed by two stones hollowed to a flat arch.
* "Londina lllustrata".
The interior of this building is much altered from its ancient arrangement. Its height is now divided into three stories; originally it contained, as already observed, but two; the floor of the upper room being placed at about 17 feet from the present line of the ground in the lower, which has been raised about 9 inches. Of the upper floor there are now no remains; but it appears that, until within a few years, it existed,* as well as the ceiling of the lower room, which is described as having been horizontal, richly panelled, and embellished with painting and gilding. The principal entrance to this room was from the upper end of the Hall by a door-way opening upon the Dais, and, in the north-east corner was another communicating with some apartment in that direction, * It was formerly lighted from the south by a bay and three other windows, of which only one, that on the west of the bay, is now to be seen. It differs from those of the Hall by being richer in detail, and by having the interior arch-lines inclosed in a square head, with enriched spandrils.* The cusps of the lights are triplicated, similar to those in the lower divisions of the Hall oriel. Of the bay, only a portion of the plinth and foundation, projecting into the kitchen of the house built in the fore-court, is now standing ;* between which, and to within about 6 feet of the wall separating this room from the Hall, to which point the old stoned-work is preserved; all is modern timbering, standing in the place of the two corresponding windows to that on the west of the bay.
" Malcolm's Londinium Redivivum.
* This latter door is without mouldings of any kind, and is now inserted in a modern wall, which encloses the entrance to the vaults beneath, occupied by Mr. Moule. Its original situation is indicated by the base of one of its jaumbs, which still remains by the side of an opening in the old wall, occasioned, no doubt, by the removal of the door.
*¡ This is singular, the exterior showing a continued label, following the inclination of the window arch, and running square, at the springings, like those of the hall. This is ascertainable, from an existing portion of the upper range of windows in the angle against the hall.