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Reigate Priory, Surrey: the Holbein fireplace

RIBA Ref No RIBA135537
Architect/DesignerHolbein, Hans, the Younger (1497-1543)
Artist/PhotographerCharles, Martin (1940-2012)
CountryUK: England
Subject Date1540
Image Date2004
Library ReferenceMC A 251004
Colour InfoBlack and white
CreditMartin Charles / RIBA Collections
SubjectDecorative woodwork ; Fireplaces
NOTES: Reigate Priory was originally founded in the early 13th century and was converted into a mansion following the dissolution of the Monasteries. In June 1541 Henry VIII granted the Manor and Priory of Reigate to Lord William Howard, uncle of Catherine Howard, Henry's fifth wife. Reigate Priory became the family home and the old monastic buildings were converted to become a comfortable Tudor mansion A stone fireplace was built into the north wall of the great hall with the Howard arms carved in the pointed arch, a lion rampant carved at each corner. On the outside a hugh chimney stack was constructed with three Tudor brick chimneys. In the early 17th century a magnificent carved oak fireplace surround was installed at Reigate Priory around the Howard stone fireplace. It was said to be designed by Hans Holbein and was originally commissioned by Henry VIII for Nonsuch Palace in Ewell. Later the fireplace surround was installed at Bletchingley Place, possibly for the divorced Queen, Anne of Cleves, and moved to its present position at Reigate Priory by 1655.

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