Interior view showing the architectural detail of the cusped arched recess in the Great Hall of Harewood Castle. This feature is one of the most important in the castle, which dates from c1365 and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade 1 listed. It is thought to have been used as a 'sideboard' or 'buffet' to display treasured items of plate and designed especially for this purpose. A crocketed ogee gable (ogee is an architectural term for an arch which is partly convex and partly concave) is constructed over the ornate cusped arch which frames the recess. The plate would have been arranged on the stone 'shelves' on the back wall and the whole area would have been back lit by the tall, narrow window. Detail is still evident in the carved stone frieze of vine leaves which twine around the feature, highlighting the shape. Across the top there are various small decorative carvings, including what appears to be a game bird, left. In medieval times the Great Hall would have been a symbol of prosperity with stained glass and opulent furnishings. Many items of plate are known to have been engraved with the arms of Aldburgh (Sir William de Aldburgh rebuilt the castle c1365) and also of Baliol, (Edward Baliol, King of Scotland) to whom William was a high ranking and loyal messenger. Photograph couresty of Paul Baker.
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