Leeds Castle

Project: Leeds Castle
Location: Kent

Historical Background

Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold; the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII; a Jacobean country house; an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous; and it is currently one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain.

In the spring of 2014, a team of experts began a project to undertake the Castle’s most significant interior restoration work since the 1930s.

The Project

The Dining Room at Leeds Castle is regularly used for wedding ceremonies and events. Set within the pastel green painted panel walls of this room sit six Aubusson tapestries, which are an essential component of the design of the room. As part of the restoration and redecoration of the Dining Room, the antique tapestries had to be removed to be sent for conservation and repair. The conservator suggested that the Head Curator of the redecoration project contact Zardi & Zardi to provide temporary replacements. After initially quoting for linen wall-hangings, as we so often supply, we offered to reproduce the designs onto wallpaper after seeing that the original tapestries were housed in frames.

Once the curatorial team at Leeds Castle saw the quality of the wallpaper samples they commissioned the series onto wallpaper rather than our traditional linen. The results are stunning, and economical given that the wallpaper is less expensive to produce and install. This was our first wallpaper commission, and given it was a large-scale project in a stately home open to the public it was a great experience for us. It was also the first set of Aubusson tapestries that we had reproduced, and we were keen to add the designs to our portfolio.

Following the project, and under license from the Leeds Castle Foundation, we were able to add the set of tapestry designs to our portfolio. Subsequently, our designers digitally combined the five separate tapestries into one large panoramic piece that can be repeated and scaled to suit, printed onto wallpaper or linen. We debuted the panoramic Aubusson wallpaper at Decorex 2015 where it received a great response. It is now one of the key pieces in our portfolio.

Images courtesy of the Leeds Castle Foundation.