Four months of painstaking paint restoration is now complete at Kelmarsh Hall, with visitors able to see the work for themselves when the Hall re-opens this Easter.
The double-height Great Hall had been suffering from flaking paint for a number of years and the Kelmarsh Trust was very keen to conserve the current paint scheme as it is attributed to renowned decorator John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster, the doyenne of the English Country House style, who lived at the Hall.
In November 2015, paint specialists Crick-Smith of Lincoln were appointed and conservators set about injecting powerful water-based bonding agents behind the flaking paint and then carefully ironing flat the flakes. Areas of loss were filled and touched in to match the existing and 60 years of smoke and dirt was cleaned off using conservation techniques.
The project, which cost approximately £115,000, is the latest conservation programme to be carried out by the Kelmarsh Trust, which was set up to protect and conserve the Grade I listed country house and its surrounding gardens and parkland. Kelmarsh Hall is a historically significant building that was built in the Palladian style in 1732 by Francis Smith of Warwick to a design by James Gibbs, an eminent architect who trained in Rome.
Invited guests attended a celebratory event on Sunday 10th April to mark the re-opening of the Hall following the restoration work. Members of the public can see the work for themselves during Hall opening times, from 1.30pm to 5pm on the first Sunday of every month, every Tuesday and Bank Holiday Mondays, until Thursday 29th September.
Before and after images of the restoration project: