Cliveden Conservation was appointed to carry out plaster repairs and redecoration of the portico ceiling at Wentworth Woodhouse, a Grade I listed stately home in South Yorkshire owned and managed by Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) and famed for having the longest façade of any country house in England.
Summary of the conservation work carried out
The project was divided into three stages: first, stabilisation, removal and consolidation of friable materials, then the repair of damaged and missing plaster followed by the redecoration of the portico ceiling.
Cleaning of the ceiling from above was necessary to remove guano and detritus, taking care to avoid damage to plaster ribs. Any damaged laths were replaced, and inadequately attached deep ornamental elements and weak edges to the missing plaster were fixed.
Areas of damaged decorative plaster work were reconstructed with stucco and plaster. Conservators then identified the missing elements on the portico ceiling and took moulds of existing repetitive ornamental plasterwork to cast replacement sections which were fixed into place, and freehand modelled others. Additional suspension fixings were required for the larger remodelled replacement elements.
Loose and flaking paint was removed using brushes and small tools before the redecoration of the portico ceiling, the final phase of the conservation project.
The beautiful portico plaster ceiling has been restored to its former glory and its future safeguarded through sensitive conservation treatment.
Decorative arts | Plaster
“We’re delighted by the quality of this repair, part of our long-term development masterplan to secure Wentworth Woodhouse for people to enjoy and to support the continuation of traditional craft skills. Thanks are due to Historic England for providing the funding to enable the Trust to commission the work. Our fundraising campaign continues, seeking to restore this amazing mansion in phases as and when funding is found for each phase.”
Sarah McLeod, CEO of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust