The Dome Project at Berrington

Berrington's glass dome from below with it's classic plasterwork captured

From January 2019 we are embarking on a new conservation project which Berrington desperately needs. The iconic glass dome which stands in the centre of the mansion is in desperate need of repair, and we want to share with you how we intend to do it.

To get 2019 kick-started we are embarking on a new project to restore and conserve Berrington's glass dome. After years of weathering and decay, we are finally able to give this dome the conservation work it needs, thanks to the help of you, our supporters and visitors.

We are afraid to say that due to this conservation work, the first floor of the mansion and 'A Dress Fit for a King' and 'Eye am She' will be closed in January 2019. We apologise for the inconvenience, however please read on to find out why these works are desperately needed.

In 1785 Thomas Harley employed Henry Holland to begin designing Berrington Hall. Influenced by the Neo-classical French architectural styles that were fashionable in this period, he made the exterior of the mansion very simple. The interior however, was filled with vibrancy and extravagant designs throughout.

Berrington's brightly coloured landing
Berrington's landing, showing the scagiola pillars and the classic statues
Berrington's brightly coloured landing

Among these designs was the iconic glass dome which, to this day, still floods the main staircase with light. This is said to be a demonstration of Holland’s mastery of complex and dramatic spatial effects.

This dome, at the time was a statement of Thomas Harley’s wealth, as well as his taste for the contemporary fashions. Situated in the centre of the mansion it has been a main feature of Berrington Hall and a focal point for various activities and visitors.

Unfortunately in recent years the dome has shown signs of deterioration. There are leaks at certain times and the architectural features are showing evidence of cracking, splitting, flaking and a general poor state of repair.

As well as this there are cracks in the flat lead roof surrounding the dome, which are allowing water in and resulting cracking to the plasterwork ceiling beneath.

Discover Georgian architecture at its finest
Berrington's pillars on the upstairs landing. A mixture of bright yellows and browns mixed in together
Discover Georgian architecture at its finest

This year however, thanks to the support of all of our visitors, we are able to embark on a project to restore this architectural masterpiece. We are looking to employ the help of specialists and work together to stop the dome leaking and improve its condition.

As well as protecting the dome this project will help to protect the interior of Berrington. All of this work will also help to preserve the ceilings and plasterwork within Berrington, by relieving them of the pressure that had been caused by 240 years of weathering.

This work can only be undertaken thanks to the help of you, our supporters.With this conservation work we can provide Berrington with the care that it deserves to make sure that it’s in place for ever, for everyone.

We will be keeping you updated with the progress of the project, so keep your eyes peeled.