Help save our dining room ceiling

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Hanbury Hall was built in 1701 for Thomas Vernon, a talented lawyer at the Courts of Chancery. The hall stayed in the Vernon family until the National Trust began caring for it in 1953 – so this year is our 60th anniversary. One of the main reasons that the National Trust took over Hanbury Hall was that there are many important wall paintings in the house that were by Sir James Thornhill (who later became famous for his work at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London).

Vital restoration work

Over the last 10 years we have been restoring the Thornhill paintings around the hall, and we are now entering the last phase of this restoration. In the dining room at Hanbury are ceiling paintings by Thornhill dating from around 1710. The smaller painting shows Boreas, the north wind, abducting the nymph Oreithyia, the daughter of a legendary King of Athens. The larger painting depicts Apollo abducting a nymph, perhaps Cyrene, whom he carried off to Africa and the city in Libya named after her.

The paintings are in poor condition and structural work is also required to stabilise the ceiling which has bowed and cracked.

The restoration work will happen in the winter of 2013 and visitors will be able to watch the painstaking work unfold through video links.

Can you help?

This work, which involves strengthening the cracked ceiling with a steel rod, and strengthening the floors of the rooms above as well as reattaching areas of flaking paint, removal of surface dirt, repairs of cracks and retouching lost paint work is going to cost us £74,500. We already have £44,500 of this and so we are looking for £30,000 so that we can save this painting for future generations to enjoy.

Please help us if you can, even a small gift will make all the difference to us. You can donate using our donation box in the dining room during your visit or use our Just Giving page.

Thank you.