The Wine Rack

The Claydon House wine storage solution

Claydon House is one of those unusual stately homes that still have the owners living there. A very down to earth couple Sir Edmund and Lady Verney and they graciously allowed us to visit their home. The main part of the house is open to the public and managed by the National Trust. We shot two episodes here for this season; this wine storage was one the other was for the Pergola and swing project.

A very unusual piece, to all intents and purposes it looks like a hallway cabinet with a decorative urn sitting on top. It is however a wine storage cabinet.

On the inside not all is what it seems

At the bottom of the urn was a tap and the water was used for rinsing out wine glasses, rather odd until you open the door to the cabinet and find what’s inside. The cabinet was divided into two sections, a storage cupboard at the top with a sliding tambour door and a pullout drawer at the bottom. The top section was used to conceal, a chamber pot while the bottom drawer was used for storing wine bottles. During lavish dinner parties the gentlemen would walk over to the cabinet and relieve themselves in the chamber pot promptly followed by refilling their wine glass. If that was the normal practice of the time no wonder the women usually left the room.