When it was first built, the Great Stair was considered at the forefront of building design and technology. Perhaps its most notable feature is the spectacular plasterwork ceiling. The decoration was created in moulds from plaster reinforced with horsehair, applied and finished by hand. In the corners can be seen figures of angels carrying the Honours of Scotland. The beautiful, intricate design is one of 10 such ceilings in the Palace. 

Visitors to the palace are greeted with large fresco paintings as they make their way up the Great Stair. These Italian works of art were completed in 1550 and were purchased by Prince Albert to be used as examples of fresco paintings when artists were working on the Palace of Westminster, now the Houses of Parliament.