Lots of cleaning…and scaffold developments!

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve carried out a deep clean in the Collections Store.  It’s long over due and needed, especially as we have a pest insect problem that has developed, despite the room being environmentally controlled.  Good housekeeping is the best way of preventing infestations developing.  Now the room has been reorganised and we are spending more time in there condition checking objects, it will be much easier for us to keep on top of the cleaning too.

Susie and Rob hard at work cleaning in the store.

The room needed a full deep clean from ceiling to floor.

Tom condition checking objects in the store this week.

Rob from Dyrham Park, a ‘Our Passport To Your Future’ programme trainee Conservation Assistant, spent 2 days with us last week as a part of his year’s training.  Here is a link to his blog he has written over the last year, including a post about his time with us at Knole http://robsblogdyrhamnationaltrust.wordpress.com/

On Tuesday this week we re-hung the Van Dyck of Sofonisba back in the Leicester Gallery.  She had spent time re-acclimatising in the Great Hall after returning from exhibition.

Melinda and Emily re-hang the Van Dyck

The chains the painting hangs from are not secured to the wall at the same height. The ring of the chain the right frame hook was on needed adjusting.

During the closed day clean of the show rooms we took the chance to get our tallest ladder out on the Great Stairs to clean dust from the highest windowsill.  It was a good time to look closely at some of the coloured glass and check the condition of the glass.

Emily cleaning the dust from a windowsill on the Great Stairs.

Beautiful coloured glass in the Great Stairs windows.

The scaffold for external building repairs has began to be built across the East and North fronts of the building over the last 2 weeks.  Soon the contractors will be here to remove cement rendering that is failing and apply lime wash render instead.  The windows will also be coming out to be repaired and re-fitted.  The scaffold is huge as it is going right up over the roof.

Scaffold going up on the East front

A new view from the Spangled Bedroom

A 90 tonne crane is coming next week to lift the giant scaffold beams for the roof.  The building of the scaffold is being captured on a time lapse camera, we’ll post the film when its completed.

Friday was a particularly busy, after the morning clean we had to set up for this months ‘Meet the Conservation Team’ event.  Cliveden Conservation also began remedial repairs to the Great Hall floor.  They began on the dais removing old grouting between the Purbeck Marble and then re-grouting it again.

Lucy vacuüm cleaning the upholstery of a stool from the Ballroom

Conservation work has begun on the Great Hall floor

In the evening we hosted a fundraiser garden party.  Although because of the weather it was held in the Orangery and some of the show rooms.  Melinda and Emily were demonstrating upholstery cleaning in the Reynolds Room and, showing guests our collection of pest insects.  As if on cue, just before the event began we had a heavy rain downpour and the window on the Second Painted Stairs leaked quite a bit, very real evidence of why we need to continue to raise funds towards our Inspired by Knole conservation project.

The leaky Second Painted Stairs window

Lucy, Sarah, Emily and Melinda.

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