In architecture, a long gallery is a long, narrow room, often with a high ceiling. In Britain, long galleries were popular in Elizabethan and Jacobean houses. They were normally placed on the highest reception floor of English country houses, usually running along a side of the house, with windows on one side and at the ends giving views, and doors to other rooms on the other. They served several purposes: they were used for entertaining guests, for taking exercise in the form of walking when the weather was inclement, for displaying art collections, especially portraits of the family and royalty, and acting as a corridor.
A long gallery has the appearance of a spacious corridor, but it was designed as a room to be used in its own right, not just as a means of passing from one room to another, though many served as this too. In the 16th century, the seemingly obvious concept of the corridor had not been introduced to British domestic architecture; rooms were entered from outside or by passing from one room to another.
Later, long galleries were built, sometimes in a revivalist spirit, as at Harlaxton Manor, an extravagant early-Victorian house in Jacobean style, and sometimes to house a large art collection, as at Buckingham Palace, which has a long interior space lit from above, called the Picture Gallery.
Notable long galleries in the United Kingdom can be seen at:
- Althorp, Northamptonshire
- Apethorpe Hall, Northamptonshire
- Aston Hall, Birmingham
- Astley Hall, Chorley
- Blickling Hall, Norfolk
- Burghley House, near Stamford, Lincolnshire
- Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire
- Burton Agnes Hall, Yorkshire
- Burton Constable Hall, Yorkshire
- Castle Ashby House, Northamptonshire, now 18th-century in style.
- Charlton House, London
- Croome Court, Worcestershire, Adam interior
- Haddon Hall, Derbyshire
- Ham House, London – compact and running from front to rear
- Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire – one of the largest
- Harewood House
- Harlaxton Manor,
- Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
- Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire
- Longleat House, Wiltshire – the long gallery is now called the Saloon
- Lyme Park, Cheshire
- Montacute House, Somerset
- Osterley Park, London
- Scone Palace, Perthshire
- Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire
- Syon House, London
- Temple Newsam House, Yorkshire – Jacobean long gallery, later modified and now called the picture gallery
- Welbeck Abbey
- Windsor Castle – Elizabethan long gallery; later converted by William IV, along with adjacent rooms, to house the Royal Library
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- "Long Gallery". Burton Constable Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
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- "Long Gallery". Syon House. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- The 'Long Gallery': Its Origins, Development, Use and Decoration by Rosalys Coope in Architectural History, Vol. 29, 1986 (1986), pp. 43–72+74-84
- Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. .