Colonel Robert Myddelton Biddulph's romantic ancestral banqueting parlour displayed the breast-plate of General Sir Thomas Myddelton (d.1666) above an armorial mantelpiece that was designed in 1846 by the architect A.W.N. Pugin in the 'Louis Douze' medieval style popularised by his Gothic Furniture in the Style of the Fifteenth Century, 1835 and work at the New Palace of Westminster. These 'banquets' or benches, richly sculpted with cinquefoiled flowers and cusp-fretted trestles, were designed by Pugin to accompany the grand arm-chairs that stood at the ends of an oak banqueting table. The bench's serpentined trestle-tie relates to that of a sixteenth century bench preserved in the National Museum of Wales (R. Edwards, Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, 1964 p.48 fig 3).
The bench is likely to have been manufactured by the Bond Street firm of the court decorator John Gregory Crace, who supplied the room's rose-flowered curtains. Pugin wrote about his bench design in 1846, included as lot 503:- 'I have made them very simple under but I think they will look effective & quite in character with the old place -they should be made in oak. As rgds the Benches 12 feet is too long so I have 2 for each side which can easily be moved...'. Interestingly, the basic bench pattern had already been published by Pugin in his 'Gothic Furniture, 1835.
Chirk followed the New Palace of Westminster as perhaps Pugin and Crace's major joint work (M. Aldrich, The Craces, Brighton 1990, p.141).