It’s been a while since our latest post about what we’ve been up, but we promise we have definitely been busy. The last few weeks of the winter clean is always fairly hectic. This year however added to te usual mayhem has been the deinstallation of internal protection work from the first phase of building work, plus preparations for the next phase. We have also had various contractors and conservators in and out of the house.
The dust protection tunnel and hoarding has now come down in the Leicester Gallery, Museum Room, Billiard Room, Spangled Dressing Room and Spangled Bedroom. This meant we could finally deep clean the rooms, and it’s a good job we had the protection because it turns out there was a fair amount of dust!
The tunnel coming down revealed that an area of plaster ceiling in the bay window of the Spangled Dressing Room had become unstable. With our building surveyor Robin and our contractor we discussed what approach should be taken to make it safe.
Earlier in the month we took a delivery of some parts of the James II Bed, including the headboard and and some curtains. They have returned after several years of conservation work. As they are very carefull packed and in quite large boxes we took the decision to store them in the Venetian Ambassador’s Bedroom. The Headboard will be no display to visitors during the 2013 season.
It took a whole day for the conservation Team with two of our volunteers to move all the boxes from the Great Hall to the Venetian Ambassadors Bedroom. There has been lots of other lifting and moving around of various objects in recent weeks. Including two tapestries on 4.5 metre long tubes. They came from Lady Betty’s Bedroom which is now empty for the building work and were stored in the Billiard Room last year. As the Billiard Room has been re-instated we needed to find another temporary home for them. It turns out they both fitted rather nicely under the refectory table in the Great Hall.
Cliveden Conservation have been back carrying out more work to the Great Hall and Great Stairs floors.
This week CSC Window Films have been in working int he first half of the house, where windows have been repaired. They apply a film to the windows that absorbs ultraviolet light out of sunlight coming in the windows. It is very important to minimise or stop completely any UV coming in to the show rooms as it is the most damaging part of the light spectrum and especially harmful to our textile collection. Light damage is cumulative and completely irreversible.
More shifting and lifting about! This time four large portraits needed hanging at the north end of the Leicester Gallery. They had been taken down while the dust protection was up in front of the window.
The deep clean of rooms has now been finished, leaving two of the long galleries, the Billiard Room, Great Stairs and Spangled Rooms floors to be waxed and polished. We have already started uncovering some of the rooms and putting the furniture back in to place. Two more weeks to go and we’ll be open again. Where did winter go?
Sarah, Lucy, Melinda and Emily
p.s it’s snowing AGAIN!