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The Summer Smoking Room is at the top of the Clock Tower and is one of the most fascinating interiors in the castle. It was completed in 1874, five years after the tower was begun.
Admission to the Summer Smoking Room is only available by joining a guided tour of the Clock Tower.
The theme of the room is ‘The Universe’, and the decoration culminates in the painted dome, where the stars and constellations appear above the sun, represented by the chandelier. Candles placed here would have been reflected in the inlaid glass in the ceiling to give the illusion of the night sky.
The floor is made of encaustic or inlaid tiles, whilst the wall tiles are brightly painted with legends of the Zodiac. These were painted by the artist Frederick Smallfield in 1874.
The chimneypiece was carved by the sculptor Thomas Nicholls, and shows the winged figure of Love, with lovebirds on his wrists. The frieze beneath is carved with summertime courting couples.
The room was used by Lord Bute as an occasional sitting room, where he could entertain his friends, and enjoy the very extensive views of the sea to the south, and the mountains to the north.