Collection Description

Collection name Powderham Castle
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Description The present Powderham Castle dates back to 1390, built as home for the Earls of Devon, and remains their home to this day. Sheet music at Powderham Castle mostly dates from approximately 1765 to 1800, and consists of a number of bound volumes with gilt lettering on their spines. Some volumes bear ownership inscriptions such as “Lord Courtenay” and “Ly. Elizth. Courtenay”, and most volumes show evidence of use.

The known collection consists of keyboard music, including sonatas and concertos; comic opera by composers such as Storace and Shield; songs, and arias excerpted from operas; trio sonatas by Pugnani, Stamitz, Boccherini and Astorga, bound in parts; and Arnold’s edition of Handel’s Giulio Cesare. The majority of these items are printed, although a fair portion are manuscripts, in unidentified hands. Further music is known to exist in the Castle, but is currently uninvestigated.

Powderham Castle contains an organ by Brice Seede of Bristol, built in 1769 and restored in 2013; and a Bechstein grand piano, purchased for the modern-day concert series. There is also a “Swiss chalet” music box dating from the early 1800s.

Jonathan Frank, June 2020

Printed music
Manuscript music
Date range -
Associated People and Organisations Storace, Stephen - Shield, William - Gaetano Pugnani - Johann Stamitz - Boccherini, Luigi - Astorga, Baron d' - Arnold, Samuel - Handel, George Frideric - Brice Seede - Bechstein, piano makers -
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Associated Times 18th Century
Associated Content Piano music Organ music Opera Songs Instrumental music Organ Piano Musical box
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Powderham Castle

Kenton Exeter EX6 8JQ Open Map
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For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

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