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Rug Cleaning – A Beautiful work of Art

Written by on 11 May 2013

Lloyds of London Image Portfolio Feb2011

Carpet cleaning of James Templeton Rug.

 What is the most expensive carpet I have ever cleaned

“I am often asked what is the most expensive carpet I have ever cleaned. Although i have cleaned in homes from royalty , politicians, TV  and pop stars and world family dynasties the most expensive and beautiful work of art must be the James Templeton rug in the Robert Adams room, Lloyd’s of London that was re- build a number of times from its original location in Bowood House. I was vetted with others to clean it and had to carry out a number of test before carpet cleaning .Special solutions were used to stop any transferring of dyes within the carpet and extra care was taken to protect this wonderful piece of history that Prime Ministers, Presidents and  Royalty  from around the world have trod upon since 1957 when it was first installed.” A carpet cleaners dream.


The room used by the Council of Lloyd’s is an adaptation of the original dining room of Bowood House in Wiltshire. Designed in 1763 for the first Earl of Shelbourne, this is considered to be an important early work by Robert Adam. The famous Scottish architect had just returned from Rome and was full of enthusiasm for re-establishing the architecture of classical antiquity. Bowood faced massive repair costs in 1956 and it was decided to demolish a sizeable part, including the Adam Great Room. This coincided with the building of the new Lloyd’s premises in Lime Street. So the architect, Terence Heysham, conceived the idea of recreating the Great Room in its entirety in the new building. Having been purchased at auction, the room was moved from Wiltshire and installed in Lime Street under the direction of George Jackson and Sons. This was the same company that had installed the room at Bowood almost two centuries earlier. Plaster work which could not be incorporated in the committee room in the Lloyd’s 1958 building was preserved in an adjoining vestibule. So in 1986, when it was moved to the present Lloyd’s building, it was possible for the room to be restored to its original proportions. Today the room provides a striking contrast between the classical interior design of Adam and the post-modern architecture of Lord Rogers, who designed the present Lloyd’s building.

James Templeton Carpet 1957

The large Carpet had been woven in one piece. The field has an overall design of flowerheads in a latticed design on a greeny grey ground. The corner spandrels have curved lines and anthemions in the neo-classical style. The main border guard has a continuous scrolling foliate design on a dark green ground, and is approximately 13m 40cm x 7m 10cm.  The underside of one corner has an embroidered panel. This Carpet was woven in 1957, for Charles Hammond Limited of London by James Templeton and Company Limited of Glasgow. Hammond’s design uses characteristic Adam motifs such as husks, honeysuckle and Vitruvian scrolls. link to lloyds factsheet Lloyds of london website.

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