A masterpiece like this comes from the heart and passion of one man, Steve Edgar, a master craftsman next to none. Steve views these rooms as his very own stage and he wants to add theatre to the experience that he creates. When you come to a castle hotel, you do not want to feel as if you are at home; you want something that is different and memorable.You may expect someone with Steve’s talent to have studied and have been taught by another master craftsman, but you would be wrong. He is self-taught; where he is unique is that he researches every piece he carves in detail.This all started with an interest in woodwork at school and, needless to say, he was not encouraged to follow this interest. But instead he was steered down an engineering route. However, 25 years ago he was asked to make a bed for Thornbury Castle, near Bristol in the beautiful village of Thornbury and, as they say, the rest is history.
Then room by room, Steve has transformed the Duke of Buckingham’s former stomping ground, allowing him to release the most amazing creative talent that has been stored up and hidden for decades. “I was told I’d never make any money with woodwork. It’s true. I’m not ever going to be a millionaire, but I love what I do and the satisfaction I get from building pieces of beautiful furniture is priceless. I would not want to do anything else.” he says. “All my time is taken up with this job. I’ve tried other interests in my spare time, but my mind just drifts back to it.” Would I call Steve a perfectionist? Definitely, and this is what makes the difference with his furniture. He uses the techniques that would have been used in the period he is working on. He does use modern machinery, however, it looks too perfect, so he then finishes everything by hand; it is important for Steve that the piece he is making looks like it’s been there for 200 or 300 years.
I am very lucky to sleep in lots of amazing bedchambers and to have met this master craftsman has been a delight. Now I appreciate the research, the passion and the detail that Steve Edgar puts into his furniture, the true sign of a master craftsman.
You can see more of Stephen’s work at: www.edgarfurniture.co.uk
Bedrooms shown in this article can booked at Thornbury Castle: www.celticcastles.com/castles/thornbury