Historic Details of the North Wing
Built in 1902, the north wing is an original part of the estate which connects the library and parlor. This side foyer was the original main entryway to Willowdale Estate. The entrance had views of the Ipswich River before all the landscaping was complete. The vestibule part of the entrance has two stained glass windows on opposite sides – one with a rooster and one with an owl to represent where the sun would rise and set. The rooster has the latin word “matin” for morning and the owl has the latin word “vesper” for evening. In 1915, Bradley Palmer moved the entryway to what is now the current main entrance. As the property expanded, there needed to be a grander entryway to allow guests to arrive and depart with ease and be more centrally located.
Top Photo: Ashley O’Dell Photography
The north wing also has an original Italian marble fireplace with a nook for seating and a wood-carved staircase. Another detail you can find here is on the walls. If you look closely you can see the circular wooden pegs that show the hand craftsmanship that went in to the house, instead of being a wooden facade. Lastly, there is an interior door with stain glass window that reads “Well could he ride and often me would say, ‘That horse his mettle from his rider takes'” – from “A Lover’s Complaint”. This narrative poem published as an appendix to the original edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, it was most likely commissioned for the estate because Bradley Palmer was widely known as an avid equestrian.
Top Photo: Mark Spooner Photography
Third Photo: Phil Fox Photography
Bottom Photo: Leona Campbell Photography
Find out more about our history with one of our historic tours! Essex National Heritage Group offers a series of “Trails & Sails” adventures through many of the 34 cities and towns that make up Essex County. We are excited to be hosting a Trails & Sails event of our own, here at Willowdale Estate on Friday, September 21st at 9:30am OR 11:00am. These will be the last ones for this year!
Featured Image: Mark Spooner Photography