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Poole Hall Glass Lost in Fire

Gamul/Poole armorial surrounded by quarries depicting soldiers practising drill, from Poole Hall. © the author.
Gamul/Poole armorial surrounded by quarries depicting soldiers practising drill, from Poole Hall. © the author.

Fig. 1. Gamul/Poole armorial surrounded by quarries depicting soldiers practising drill, from Poole Hall. © Penny Hebgin-Barnes.

A fascinating panel of fragments, which included ten 17th-century quarries depicting soldiers performing military drill, has been largely destroyed in a fire. The panel from Poole Hall in Nantwich, which was 42cm square, consisted of an armorial of Gamul impaling Poole, surrounded by the quarries depicting soldiers, set amidst other fragments, including shield quarterings and garish yellow, red and purple stopgaps added in the early 19th century. The panel was profiled by Penny Hebgin-Barnes in Vidimus 44 as ‘Panel of the Month’ and constituted evidence found extremely rarely in glass of the early 17th-century preoccupation with civil defence and the practical measures that resulted from this. The panel, along with two others, including a rare armorial of Queen Mary I and six quarries of c.1600 depicting various occupations, was removed from Poole Hall to storage by the hall’s former owner, and all three have suffered partial destruction along with other artefacts originating from the hall.

Gamul/Poole armorial, from Poole Hall. © author.

Fig. 2. Gamul/Poole armorial, from Poole Hall. © Penny Hebgin-Barnes.

Penny Hebgin-Barnes, who is currently in contact with the owner in an attempt to assess the state of the surviving glass fragments and to have them conserved if possible, told Vidimus: ‘Drill quarries are the hidden treasure of Cheshire glazing: no other county has retained them at so many sites, and the Poole Hall quarries were the finest examples of the genre. It would be a tragedy if they have all been destroyed.’

The only records of this glass from before the fire are the photos taken by Penny Hebgin-Barnes on a visit to Poole Hall in 2006

The only records of this lost glass are the photos taken by Penny Hebgin-Barnes on a visit to Poole Hall in 2006. These can be seen in the online CVMA Picture Archive and were published in her CVMA (GB) survey of Cheshire (Summary Catalogue 9, 2010).