Rewiring project at Oxburgh Hall, 7 January 2013

Oxburgh Hall During Rewiring  © Iiana Van Dort

Oxburgh Hall During Rewiring

The rewiring work has started again and staff and contractors are in full swing – it’s as though Christmas never happened! Our tasks this week have included reinstating the House office and our volunteers’ tearoom. These are not showroom areas, so we haven’t been handling delicate collection items – just crockery, cutlery, chairs, sofas, tables, filing cabinets, computers and so on.

Our task for the next two weeks is to pack and move the contents of the Drawing Room, Saloon and South Corridor for these rooms to be rewired. We have already made a start by packing the contents of the many display cabinets in the Drawing Room – this is a varied collection, including ivory, silver, porcelain and glass.

Each item has been packed in acid-free tissue and bubble-wrap, then labelled with its description, location and inventory number. The items have been placed in sturdy plastic crates with plenty of bubble-wrap and scrunched-up acid-free tissue between them to cushion any blows. Finally, we have labelled each crate with a detailed list of contents and firm instructions to handle with care!

The contents of the Drawing Room, Saloon and South Corridor are to be moved to the Library and Dining Room, where the rewiring work is now complete. A new lighting system has been installed in the Dining Room, which will allow us to adjust light levels to suit visitor requirements.

When we are open to visitors, the Dining Room is laid out for a Victorian evening meal, with all shutters and blinds closed. This has been very popular with visitors, but the light levels have naturally been quite low. The new lighting system will allow us to temporarily increase light levels to allow visitors to see in greater detail the beautiful carved panelling and portraits on display. The light levels will automatically return to normal after a fixed period of time.