Such joyful moments amid the horror have sustained my optimism through all our subsequent challenges. I once cursed the dry-rot treatment of our predecessors, but now ﬁnd myself thankful that wooden lintels were replaced with concrete, preventing further destruction.
That no one was hurt and that so many items were rescued are thanks to the dedication of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, supported by a comprehensive salvage plan and our staff and volunteers. Since then the response of colleagues from other organisations has been generous, with many offers of advice, help and practical assistance.
Work begins again
This has been a period of intense activity involving all areas of the National Trust. The salvaged collection of over 400 items, including paintings, clocks, porcelain, silver, books and furniture, is now safeguarded, transferred to a secure store where objects can be assessed and receive treatment.
We’re working with structural engineers to assess the stability of a house that was, fortunately, designed by Italian architect Giacomo Leoni with a generous speciﬁcation and is reassuringly solid. May saw the exterior of the house surveyed using 3-D laser, and this will continue inside when the rooms are cleared. A time-lapse camera has been capturing activity on site and we’ve been making use of a drone to look down into the building.