In February 1910, Merton and Annie visited Spain. Their trip to the Moorish Palace of Alhambra in Granada inspired them to build a Moorish Alcove in their home on their return to Bournemouth.
On the lip of the magnificient dome is a quote taken from the Koran which reads “There is no conqueror but God”.
The bonze and marble sculpture on display in the alcove depicts Othello, the Moor of Venice, by Pietro Calvi (1883 -1884).
Originally the fully glazed dome was not intended to house a central light. Although a table lamp was situated on the ledge outside the Yellow Room, it would have given very little light to the main area. It may well be that the dome was completed during the summer when the sun lit the area. At night or on dark winter days the Russell-Cotes may have realised that this area was too dismal and added a Moorish style lantern.