The Library and The Ante Library
In large country houses such as Highcliffe Castle, the Ante Library was used to store books that the owner had read, or as an overflow from the main library.
Both the Ante Library and the Library were galleries with ceilings plastered to represent wood. Access to the upper walkway was via a spiral staircase in the Library. The doorway between the Ante-Library and the Library had a set of Spanish red cloth curtains to minimise the draughts. These curtains bore the coats of arms of the Stuart and Yorke families.
It is estimated that these two rooms at the Castle could house up to 30,000 books.