Eek! Only 15 days till we open

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!

Volunteer Zena, gives the bay wiondow of the Musuem Room a thorough clean after the tunnel was taken down.

Volunteer Zena, gives the bay window of the Museum Room a thorough clean after the tunnel was taken down.

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Our contractors dismantling the tunnel section in the Billiard Room.

As the tunnel has now been removed from the Billiard Room, it was time to move the Billiard Table back in to its usual position in the roomm

With the tunnel  removed from the Billiard Room, it was time to move the Billiard Table back in to its usual place in the room.

The team re-hang net curtains and blackout curtains in the Billiard Room.

The team re-hang net curtains and blackout curtains in the Billiard Room.

This image demonstrates perfectly the need for internal dust protection during building work.

This image demonstrates perfectly the need for internal dust protection during building work.

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.

Taking the tunnel down inthe Spangled Dressing Room revealed an area of the plaster ceiling in the bay window had become unstable

Some small bits of plaster had broken off altogether.

Some small bits of plaster had broken off altogether.

After investigation and discussion it was decied to remove the unstable are of plaster.  It turned out to be a mordern plaster skim.

After investigation and discussion it was decided to remove the unstable are of plaster. It turned out to be a modern plaster skim…

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…and not as much of the plaster needed to be removed as we first thought.

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.

Conserved parts of the James II bed have returned from the National Trust textile studio in Norfolk.

Conserved parts of the James II bed have returned from the National Trust textile studio in Norfolk.

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.

So where do you store two tapestries on 4.5 metre long tubes...?  Under a table of course!

So where do you store two tapestries on 4.5 metre long tubes…? Under a table of course!

Cliveden Conservation have been back carrying out more work to the Great Hall and Great Stairs floors.

Cliveden Conservation have been back carrying out more work to the Great Hall and Great Stairs floors.

Wet paper towels are left overnight on recently repaired areas of grouting to help it set properly.  If it dries out to quickly the new grouting can fail. 

Toning in the mortar repairs.

Toning in the new grouting to match the colours of the stone. 

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.

Applying new UV film to the windows.  The Museum Room wniow has never had film on before as it has been behind a display cabibets since the 1960s!

Applying new UV film to the windows. The Museum Room window has never had film on before as it has been behind a display cabinets since the 1960s!

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.

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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!

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One thought on “Eek! Only 15 days till we open

  1. How good to read that so many rooms will come back to life as we start the new season. Congratulations to everyone involved.

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