Rewiring Project at Oxburgh Hall, 4 February 2013

Work underway in the drawing room  © Ilana Van Dort

Work underway in the drawing room

The Textile Studio, based near Blickling Hall, spent three days here this week, unpacking and reinstating the Marian Hangings. These are needlework panels embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick, which are mounted on fabric to form three large hangings and a bed valance in four sections.

During the project, the hangings were rolled onto padded PVC rollers and packed in layers of protective materials. The ends of each roller were then placed on custom-made wooden supports in safe storage, while the Hangings Room was rewired. Now that the rewiring work is complete in that area, the Hangings have been returned to their display boards.

The main Marian Hanging is going on loan to the National Museum of Scotland this year, which has given us the opportunity to display the Valance Hangings in its place. These Hangings once formed part of a bed valance surrounding the King’s Room bed and are usually kept in storage. Why not visit us and take this rare opportunity to see these beautiful panels on display? We open again to visitors on 9 March 2013.

The contractors have been busy completing the final stages of the project, with a view to finishing work in the Drawing Room, Saloon and South Corridor by 15 February. It has also been a busy time for the House team, tying up ‘loose ends’ and doing as much as we can to get the House ready for opening.

We usually spend the months of November–February doing a full ‘winter clean’, deep-cleaning the showrooms and every item in the collection in preparation for the new season. The rewiring project has limited how much cleaning we can do, but we have used the last couple of weeks to work in areas to which the contractors don’t need access. The main aim has been to get rid of the huge amounts of dust generated by the rewiring work! Any deep-cleaning tasks we haven’t managed to complete this winter will be done as part of the general day-to-day cleaning when we open to visitors again.

In an update to the void we discovered under the South Corridor floor, National Trust archaeologist Angus Wainwright will be visiting us next week to ascertain whether it is of any interest. Watch this space!