Cliveden Conservation has been appointed by Interserve, the international support services and construction group, to repair and restore the Italian Terrace courtyard garden’s decorative mosaic floor at Stanford Hall near Loughborough. This conservation project is part of the overall works being carried out in the building of a world class clinical rehabilitation centre for the Ministry of Defence within the grounds of the Grade II listed 18th-century English country house.
The Italian Terrace is one of the areas which is being carefully restored to retain the unique setting of Stanford Hall and its open parkland landscape which will play an important role in supporting patient rehabilitation.
Mark Green, project director at Interserve, said: “This project contains unique features which have required specialist knowledge and sensitivity to the historical context. Cliveden Conservation has brought us the expertise needed to restore this area of the Stanford Hall estate to its former glory.”
To repair the coloured mosaic floor, which is thought to be from the redecoration performed by Sir Charles Allom in the 1930s, Cliveden Conservation has painstakingly removed all the surviving pieces to be restored at its Norfolk workshop. From the remains of the mosaic Cliveden Conservation could easily identify the geometrical pattern of the whole floor which resembles a basket weave effect.
Work is now taking place to clean the existing tesserae and reassemble the panels of the mosaic. This complex procedure involves using a laser cut ply template with the design on acetate laid over glass. The tesserae are then placed into position and held in place by cement mortar with a glass fibre reinforcing mesh.
Over 800 panels will be produced in the workshop using original tesserae and new tesserae. The panels will then be transported back to Stanford Hall to reconstruct the decorative mosaic floor around the central octagonal fountain (currently used as a planting bed) within the square Italian inspired courtyard terrace. Conservation of the fountain and its mosiac covering will also be carried out as part of the project.
It is planned that the existing formal terraces and gardens, such as the Italian Terrace, will be restored and new landscape areas created to form a range of formal gardens, courtyards and less formal landscaping which will enhance the therapeutic environment. The project is due for handover in 2018 when the new buildings will become the operational site for the Defence facility at the DNRC when it relocates from its current home at Headley Court in Surrey.