The Radcliffe Baronetcy & Rudding Park House; A Terrific Group of Six Victorian Period Painted Tin Room Name Plates


Origin: English
Period: Early/Mid Victorian
Provenance: Lady Radcliffe & Sir Joseph Radcliffe, Baronet; Rudding Park Estate, Yorkshire, England
Date: c.1840-70
1) 10.25 x 2.75 inches, 2) 13.25 x 4 inches
3) 11 x 4.5 inches 4) 13 x 4.5 inches
5) 12.25 x 4.75 inches 6) 12.25 x 4.75 inches

The group of six Victorian painted tin room names on manilla buff grounds to include 'Sir Joseph's Dressing Room', 'Lady Radcliff's Sitting Room', 'Nursery Bed Room', ‘Miss Radcliffe Bed Room / Sir Joseph’s Bed Room’ (double sided), ‘Lady Redcliffe’s Dressing Room’ and ‘Oak Room’ survive from an English mid Victorian period country estate.

The condition of the plates is good, with no major structural losses. There are rust spots and various chips to the paint on each example. The edges of the plates have pea green paint to them, obviously occurring when the rooms were redecorated at some stage. One of the plates is double sided as detailed above.

The Radcliffe Baronetcy, of Milnsbridge House in the County of York, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 2 November 1813 for Joseph Radcliffe as a reward for his public services. The Radcliffes were an ancient Lancashire family and took their name from the village of Radcliffe in that county. William Radcliffe married the heiress of the Milnsbridge House estate, Milnsbridge, near Huddersfield and in 1724 bought the Marsden Moor estate. His son died issueless in 1795 and the estates fell to his nephew, son of his sister Mary, Joseph Pickford who thereupon assumed the surname of Radcliffe in lieu of his patronymic and who was in 1813 created a baronet.

The first Baronet married firstly the heiress of Royton Hall, Royton, Lancashire. Following his death in 1819 the Milnsbridge estate was sold and in 1824 the second Baronet purchased an estate near Harrogate, North Yorkshire and completed the construction of the new family seat at Grade I listed Regency Style Rudding Park House, where these plates would have hung. Rudding Park was originally part of the forest of Knaresborough and still retains some of the ancient oak trees. The house is situated within the 2,000-acre Rudding Park estate at Follifoot on the southern outskirts of Harrogate. It is a two-storey building made of ashlar with a Westmorland slate roof, designed in the style of the Wyatts by an unknown architect. In 1824 the estate was sold to Sir Joseph Radcliffe, Bt.with the new house still unfinished and he secured architect Robert Chantrell to oversee its completion. London architect A.E. Purdie designed a gothic revival chapel which was added in 1879.

Several generations of the Radcliffe family then occupied the house and these tin plate names could have been erected as early as 1815 or later in the nineteenth century; there were several baronets with the name Joseph Radcliffe being Sir Joseph Radcliffe, 1st Baronet (1744-1819), Sir Joseph Radcliffe, 2nd Baronet (1799-1872), Sir Joseph Percival Pickford Radcliffe, 3rd Baronet (1824-1908), Sir Joseph Edward Radcliffe, 4th Baronet (1858-1949), Sir Everard Joseph Radcliffe, 5th Baronet (1884-1969), Sir (Joseph Benedict) Everard Henry Radcliffe, 6th Baronet (1910-1975). It is difficult to discern which Sir Joseph these plates refer to specifically but they probably remained as part of the fixtures of the house for a long period given the Christian name was handed down through the generations.

In 1972 the estate was acquired by the Mackaness family, who remain the owners to the present day. In recent times the estate has been heavily developed, with the opening of Rudding Holiday Park in 1973 and the use of the house as a conference and banqueting centre in 1987. An 18 hole golf course was opened in 1995 and 250 bedroom hotel adjoining the house in 1997. The heir apparent to the baronetcy is Julian Edward Constable-Maxwell (born 1997), only son of the 7th Baronet.

Huge decorative appeal with stellar provenance; not to be missed.