Guests stepping down from their carriages would be welcomed into this lovely entrance hall by the family. Introductions would be made, and refreshments offered. The room has immense appeal with it's black and white stone floor and magnificent fireplace. Fires would be lit in the winter, being replaced with flowers grown on the estate in the summer. Family portraits adorn the walls giving status and a feeling of time passing. Hundreds of Christmas trees must have stood here, where guests with full glasses have sung carols, and toasted the coming New Year. A room for celebration which still goes on!
Morning Room / The China Room
A comfortable, relaxing room. Generations of Mrs. Clifton's would have met here to discuss their plans for the day. In the winter a blazing fire would add to their comfort. Breakfast could be taken here, or perhaps, a mid-morning coffee. Husbands occasionally would pop in, but this was mainly the ladies' domain. The latest newspapers were browsed for society gossip. Plans for the day were discussed and made. The serious business of the dinner menu was conveyed to the cook. Time was spent deciding what gown would be worn. Tiring work indeed! Who would be a lady of leisure?
Drawing Room / The Gold Room
From the hand-painted wallpaper to the glittering chandelier and mirrors, the ballroom shows us the sumptuous delights of a Georgian ball. Where elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen would dance, entertain, and pass the time in flirtatious revelry. To us, their shadows dance endlessly on in the candlelight.
Dining Room / The Gillow Room
In the apse the magnificent mahogany Gillows of Lancaster sideboard presides over lavish Georgian entertaining. The table laid with Clifton crested china and glass. Livery coated footmen attend to every need. From the walls, family portraits look down. Would changes during the twentieth century from one large table to small intimate, lamp lit tables gain their approval? We have to imagine and decide.
Bouquets of flowers, trains, floating veils, serenely and slowly many lovely brides and bridesmaids have processed down this beautiful cantilevered staircase to the delight of their guests below. Romantic balls and parties bring back the past. We hear music from the ballroom. We see the colourful silks and satins as pretty young ladies are guided down the staircase, hands lightly on the arms of their partners. Names are announced. The scent of flowers fills the air. Romance holds sway, and the cares of the world disappear.
Added on to the house around the late Victorian age this room was for the gentlemen. A place essentially of their own. Coloured by sunlight dappled through richly stained glass windows, surrounded by sporting, and sailing prints, the room is reminiscent of a gentleman’s club. Bets were frequently made. These often, on a whim, and on any subject that came to mind. Large sums were frequently involved including parcels of land, much to the ruination of the Clifton estates. Male gossip, spiced with innuendos referred to ladies of pleasure. Their latest conquests would be hinted at along with more serious farming, and estate business. A game of billiards might even be played!
The Long Gallery
Surviving the flames that destroyed most of the Jacobean house, the hand cut planks of this gallery have felt the tread of feet for over four hundred years. Built to allow exercise, in the form of walking and simple sports in the very cold climate of the time. The gallery’s future would be in question. Fortunately the architect John Carr liked to incorporate the remains of an old building into the new, and this evocative room was saved. If the Chapel in the west wing became over-full, Recusant services would be held here during the times of Catholic persecution. Occasionally the gallery was curtained in the corner and used as a bedroom for priests. Civil war soldiers came and went, the Clifton family staunchly supporting the king. Parties were held here for the estate tenants to celebrate important events in the life of the family. Within recent memory is the conversion to a hospital ward during WWII.
This was John Talbot and Violet Clifton’s bedroom from 1908.
The Sheraton-style bed was made for John Talbot Clifton, with an inlay of the Hand and Dagger (part of the family crest), which also appears on the fireplace. The motto is “Mortem aut Triumphum”, (Death or Triumph).
The embroidered headboard is in the style of Jacobean Crewel work.
When the Hall was built and before the woodland was developed, the view would have encompassed all the land from the Hall to the sea including the seashore which was part of their estate. This view was protected by Clifton covenant which forbade any building on land between the Hall and the sea, which includes Lowther Gardens and Lytham Cricket Club.
Hetty Clifton's Bedroom
This was Hetty Clifton’s favourite room at Lytham Hall. She spoke of the four windows letting in lots of natural light without the direct sunlight. She also referred to the room being blue and how it was her favourite colour. This room once housed a half tester bed like the one you can see on display. This bed was purchased and donated by the Queendeans Association in 2017 to help with our representation.