Lord Bute's Bathroom
Designer: William Burges, 1827-1881
Walnut, coloured marble, enamelled metal
Photograph, caption, and commentary below by Jacqueline Banerjee
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Lord Bute's Bathroom, just off his bedroom in Bute Tower, Cardiff Castle. William Burges. c.1870. This walnut-panelled bathroom with 36 different types of marble insets and highly decorated hand-basin is unique, the only one that Burges is known to have designed (see "Cardiff Castle"). The hand-basin, which is set into a marble slab, is particularly splendid: "A mermaid combs her hair in the bottom of the bowl and monsters swim above her under an arcade of stone arches" (Crook 41). Mermaids were another of Burges's favourite motifs. Adjoining the bathroom was a flush water closet supplied by the sanitary engineer George Jennings.