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Entrance Hall

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The halls of houses Robert Adam designed tend towards the heroic and Harewood is no exception; witness the columns which seem to refer back to an earlier architectural age. At Harewood, Adam designed the ceilings, friezes and chimneypieces throughout the house, and his habit was to aim at an overall decorative scheme with everything part of a unified design. (In the Hall for instance the ox skulls, a feature of the frieze, recur over the doors and on the chimneypiece carved in marble). He outlined his schemes in some detail but left their realisation to the stuccoists, Joseph Rose and William Collins, whose own fantasy was engaged to some purpose – the wedding of Neptune and Amphitrite is the subject of the oblong relief over the fireplace with the Chariot of Phaeton opposite, where was once a second fireplace.

As Adam conceived it, the Hall was a noble ante-chamber rather than a place in which to linger, but the inventory made in 1795 suggests that 25 years after the House was first occupied it was already used as somewhere to sit, not just pass through.

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