About The Panelled Hall
Entering the Panelled Hall you immediately feel like you’ve arrived in a proper country house. It’s a welcoming room, not intimidating like many stately homes.
In the past, dinner guests would assemble in this room. George’s grandfather would have been dressed in black tie, enjoying a gin and tonic with them and warming his hands by the fire before dining.
Today the Hall is still a room for gatherings and occasions, it is our most popular room for ceremonies.
A young man and his wife oversee our joyous celebrations from their portraits above the fireplace.
Their grandson, William Mellish, bought Hodsock in 1765. The matriarch and patriarch of one side of the family, they sat for these paintings to celebrate their marriage in the 1720s.
The exquisite wallpaper, made by Watts of Westminster, costs £350 per roll. The traditional but stylish firm was established in 1874, the same year that the house was built.
Hodsock’s oak panelling has been crafted from oaks from the estate. With a name supposedly originating from Hod’s Oak this seems apt. The doors retain their original handles so, from celebrities and royalty to friends and family, they’ve been touched by everyone.
Dorothy Spencer (nee Clay) was in service in the house in the 1920s until 1933. She wrote a diary and once a week she used beeswax from the estate to polish the oak panelling.
To the left of the fireplace is a painting of a beautiful woman in red with a blue ribbon. She was the bride’s sister and the reason we unofficially named this part of the Hall ‘Bridesmaid’s Corner’.
You’ll find paintings of the Mellish family in the Panelled Hall alongside those of the Buchanan’s, symbolising the coming together of two families. Exactly what happens in this ceremonial room today!
Linked to The Ante Room
The Panelled Hall is linked to the Ante Room by a grand staircase and an original 1864 Bechstein piano which you and your guests are encouraged to play.
There’s nothing more romantic than a glass of fizz and live piano music. They’ll be too busy to browse our full 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica!
We have a full sound system here for playing ceremony and procession music. We can play CDs and plug in your iPods, and have a special camera to watch for the arrival of the bride and fade the music appropriately.
All of the portraits in the house are connected to the family. Many portray husband and wife, which is fitting for a wedding venue. They’re George’s predecessors; faithful custodians of the estate who both indulged in their passions and enjoyed partying here.
The two oldest paintings behind the piano date from the 1600s and feature Martha and William Mellish. The watercolours were painted by talented members of the family between 1780 and 1870.
The intricate trompe l’oeil of trailing ivy up the staircase, including birds such as a peacock and pheasant (and a cheeky glass of wine!) was painted in 1986 by hand. It’s unique to Hodsock, a legacy of artist Tom Errington who died in 2013.
On the stairs you’ll find Henry Mellish resplendent in his military uniform; the rogue who gambled the entire estate away. As with all of the portraits at Hodsock, his wife, Harriett Mellish, is positioned right next to him.