Castle Rushen wall-hangings. In the medieval period, wall hangings
of various kinds brought rooms to life in an elegant way and also
provided a barrier against damp and draughts. The highest quality
hangings were woven tapestries ("arraswork") which were
conspicuously displayed by the wealthy. The tapestry behind the
Lord's chair in his Great Chamber is copied from a 15th century
original. These tapestries were often imitated in painted or "steyned
cloth" hangings which had the advantage that they could be
quickly prepared and hung for special occasions, such as a rare
visit to the Island by the King of Mann.
Painted cloths could also portray subjects specifically
relating to the Lord's family which would have been too expensive
and taken too long to depict in tapestry.
The painted cloths in
the Lord's Private Dining Room and the Lord's Great Chamber are
based on decorative styles of the 15th century and include subjects
of heraldic and family significance to the Stanley family, including
their part in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, which earned them
the title of Earls of Derby.
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