Mount Stewart restoration - how, why and when?
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Our project to save Mount Stewart includes important repairs and improvements to the structure and services of this precious house.
As well as the construction work to the house, its treasures are being carefully repaired and important research carried out to restore and bring back to life the family home of the Londonderry’s.
The total cost of the project is £7 million, the majority being invested directly by the National Trust. The project is being delivered with local contractors H & J Martin. The project has benefits for the local economy, through new jobs, appointing local companies and the development of a major tourist attraction for Northern Ireland.
A large team of experts are making this happen including specialist engineers, conservation architects, quantity surveyors and joiners all overseen by our Project Manager, Dennis Wright.
Looking after the contents of the house
Before the building works can happen the contents of each room need to be recorded, packed, and stored safely. A purpose built store has been created in the chapel by our joiners.
Over 40 volunteers from the local community help our project conservator look after the special contents of the house.
Our curator is working with various experts in areas such as paintwork, textiles, furniture, ceramics and glass, books, plasterwork and much more.
Alongside historical research of the family and house, this work will restore Mount Stewart to its former glory.
During Phase 1 of the project in 2012 a series of technical surveys were completed. These provided the information needed to create detailed designs and plans for the work.
The surveys included:
• Flooding, drainage and plumbing
• Electrical and structural surveys
• 3D laser survey by Queens University Belfast
So far work has included:
• Gallery strengthening in the Central Hall
• Floor strengthening in first floor rooms
• Removal of asbestos
• Drainage works
• Installation of new electrical and heating services
• Repairs to sash windows
• Specialist conservators work on contents such as paintings
The next steps in the project include:
• Under floor heating installation
• Window repairs (including replacement of skylight glazing)
• Further mechanical and electrical services installation
• Existing cornicing and plaster repairs
• Further research into the history and stories of Mount Stewart
• Further packing, protection and conservation of the contents