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Mansion tile

Mansion floor tile
What was it used for? Decorative covering
Where is it from? Stoke Park Mansion
When was it made? 17th - 18th centuries
How was it made? Fired
What was it made from? Clay and tin glaze
Size: L 120mm, W 120mm
Museum number: LG.2189

This tile came from Stoke Park Mansion, a grand house that once stood just outside Guildford. It copies the Dutch style of tiles that was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. We believe the picture shows Jesus healing a man. This may seem an unusual choice of picture for a home, especially as the tile was in the washroom.

The style of this tile is similar to those produced in Delft in the Netherlands. The city had a long history of ceramic production. It was particularly famous for making tiles. Large numbers of Delftware tiles were exported right across Europe. However, soon producers in Britain began making similar tiles. There were tile-making centres in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow. This tile was probably made in England.

Delft-style tiles had designs on a range of themes. These included nature, trade, entertainment, landscapes and oriental scenes. Perhaps the most common theme though was stories from the Bible. This tile probably shows the story of Jesus healing the ear of one of the guards who arrested him. The guard's ear was cut off by Jesus' disciple Peter.

Stoke Park Mansion was probably built by Nicholas Turner in 1718 for himself. His daughter, Charlotte Turner Smith (1749 - 1806) spent her early years at this house. She was a novelist and poet who was extremely successful in her lifetime but who suffered from an abusive husband. The mansion was demolished in 1978 as it had become run down and expensive to maintain. Museum staff managed to save many of the fixtures and fittings before the building was destroyed.