This week’s post covers the work done to improve the lighting at Attingham by Thomas 8th Lord Berwick.
Chapter 5: The Collection Begins (1897-1921)
The 7th lord Berwick died in 1897 and was succeeded by his nephew, Thomas who became the 8th Lord Berwick and later bequeathed the Attingham Estate to the National Trust in 1947. Thomas had grown up at Cronkhill and did not come to live properly at Attingham until 1921, after his marriage, due to his diplomatic work in Paris before and during the First World War.
Between 1903 and 1920 Attingham Hall was tenanted and during the First World War it was used as a hospital, with 60 beds by 1918.
The 1913 inventory reveals that the electric lighting had been extended and new fittings had been acquired. Between 1904 and 1910, Lord Berwick purchased light fittings in Paris for Attingham. The 1913 inventory also indicates that all electric lamps in the house were shaded which suggests that tungsten filament lamps were in use, instead of the carbon filament lamps of the previous century.
The Inner Library was lit by a five-light electrolier ‘with engraved globes’.
The Entrance Hall was lit by ‘4 brass electric ceiling lights’ in addition to the three-light lantern.
The bedrooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms, lavatories, passages and landings were lit with pendant fittings. Some of these were adjustable with china counterweights.
The work that Lord Berwick started in the early 1900s to purchase new light fittings for his home was to be continued after the Great War with his wife, Teresa. Look out for the next post which will cover the way in which the house was transformed by Lord and Lady Berwick at Attingham in the 1920s and 30s.