Rewiring at Oxburgh Hall, 26 November 2012
We have spent most of this week packing and labelling the contents of the display cabinets in the drawing room, then returning the packed items to their respective cabinets. There are six display cabinets in the drawing room, each of which contains collections of small, fragile items. We are not moving the contents of the drawing room until January, but we decided to take advantage of a comparatively quiet week to pack these delicate items at a slow and careful pace. In due course, the items will be packed into plastic crates and moved to safe storage.
Lifting the floorboards in the north bedroom, the contractors have discovered that thick branches or tree-trunks - with the bark still intact - form part of the support structure of the floor.
Thanks to the damp weather and the removal of some of our storage heaters, we have been busy trying to ensure that temperature and relative humidity levels are kept on an even keel. These levels are recorded by small gadgets called ‘humbugs’, which are discreetly placed in each room. The humbugs feed data back to a computer, allowing us to continuously monitor the environment in the house. If temperature and relative humidity readings are allowed to exceed or drop below the recommended levels, it can cause significant damage to the collection. During damp weather, the risk is that the relative humidity levels will rise and we have been combating this through the use of free-standing plug-in heaters to dry out the air to the required levels.