When our visitors embark on a tour of the house led by our experienced and knowledgeable guides, they will not find any ropes or barriers and are able to study our varied and extensive collection of furniture, porcelain, paintings and objets d’art up close. Also, underfoot, are many fine carpets and rugs including these colourful stair runners. The flower head patterns on these runners indicate that they originated from Bejay in the Kurdish region of North West Persian. The rich colours compliment the elaborately carved staircase – a mixture of heraldry, myth and imagination!
The majority of carpets at Godinton are Persian; the fine example in the Great Hall was probably produced in a workshop in Kerman, a city that has been making carpets and rugs from around the 15th century. It is likely that this carpet was a special commission in the latter half of the 19th century. Another fine carpet can be found in the Dining Room, and was most likely produced in Hariz (a small town in North West Persia) between 1860 and 1880. It is unusual in that it is much bigger than most carpets from rural regions – probably because it was a special commission for export.
Carpets have been popular in this country for hundreds of years, and the tradition of collecting rugs and carpets dates back to the 16th century. However, from then until 1870 when William Morris introduced cheap carpets for the richer middle classes, it was only the very rich who could afford them.