This room in the now-demolished Hardwick House, is described as a boudoir – a ladies private sitting room – and is well furnished.
On the right hand side wall is the striking oil on canvas portrait of Sydney Isabella Milner-Gibson painted in 1872 by the accomplished French artist James Tissot who specialised in painting fashionably dressed women. It is now owned by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and can be seen in Moyse’s Hall.
-- This picture is part of a remarkable collection of 4,000 photographs in the care of Bury St Edmunds Past and Present Society which offers a glimpse into the town’s history.
Taken by two families of professional photographers, the Spantons and the Jarmans, the images span a period from the 1860s through to the outbreak of World War Two. The fragile glass plate negatives were donated to the society in 1997 and in recent years many of these have been ‘digitised’ thanks to a Lottery grant and donations. They can be viewed at www.burypastandpresent.org.uk where you can also find details about membership and the group’s programme of events and lectures. The Spanton-Jarman collection is held at the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Suffolk Record Office. For more details about the Record Office, including its programme of talks and courses, visit www.suffolkarchives.co.uk.