Harlaxton Manor - Internal decoration, plasterwork, John Gregory Crace

Administrative / Biographical History

John Gregory Crace, distant relative of Gregory Gregory (through parents Fredericke Crace and Augusta Gregory), is thought to have decorated the Gold Room. The Crace family were the most important firm of interior decorators working in Britain in the 19th century. They worked for every British monarch from George III to Queen Victoria and on a range of buildings that includes royal palaces, Leeds Town Hall and the Great Exhibition building of 1862. John Gregory Crace worked extensively for the 6th Duke of Devonshire at Devonshire House, London, and Chatsworth, designing a wide range of decorative schemes and furniture. He is also well known for his collaboration with A.W.N. Pugin, with whom he worked on the decoration of the new Palace of Westminster, and the medieval court at the Crystal Palace

A particular pointer is the presence of the elongated quatrefoil flower set with a diamond put in background to the cove and upper panels. This is a Gothic motif and unusual in this setting. Often used by Crace who manufactured a wallpaper based on an original design by A W Pugin, the great Gothic revivalist, it became known as the Crace Diaper.

See: https://harlaxtonmanorarchives.wordpress.com/harlaxton-treasure-trail/crace-diaper/


  • arc/8/1 Correspondence from Tim Knox dated 2004 enquiring about Crace and Gregory family relationship. Extract from Aldrich, Megan. The Craces: Royal Decorators 1768-1899 [copy held in Library]
  • arc/8/2 Correspondence from Colin Cunningham to Mr and Mrs Nannery (Tour Guides) dated 2004, regarding plasterwork and J.G.Crace
  • arc/8/3 Press notes Property: A guide to getting plastered. The Independent on Sunday , 31 March 1996.

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Archivist's Note

Added by Linda Dawes, College Librarian, July 2017

Conditions Governing Use

With permission of the copyright holder