Work is set to begin trialling restoration methods on the railings over several weeks in August 2017. Conducted by conservators Hall Conservation, who've previously worked for clients such as Historic Royal Palaces, the trials will help determine the most effective restoration method going forward. A section of the railings will be roped off during the work, but you'll still be able to enter the Camellia Terrace and see the progress being made.
Restoring the royal railings at Claremont Landscape Garden
Dating back to the nineteenth century, the decorative iron railings ringing the Camellia Terrace are the last tangible mark left by Claremont's royal couple, Charlotte and Leopold. In 2017, we're beginning a project to restore the railings to their former glory.
A piece of history
If you've visited Claremont before, it's possible you may have missed the historic black railings around the Camellia Terrace. Though just a small feature, the railings represent a significant part of history, both of Claremont and of the royal family of Britain.
The railings are adorned with the monogram of Queen Victoria's "dear uncle", Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, who owned Claremont from 1816-1865. Leopold became the first King of the Belgians in 1831, and his crown tops the railings on every section.
The railings are a typical example of early nineteenth-century garden fashion and outline the site of a former conservatory, originally designed as a refectory and small library for Leopold and his bride Princess Charlotte. The conservatory was demolished in 1959 after falling into disrepair, but the railings remain to this day, enclosing a terrace where hundred-year-old camellias still bloom.
Restoring the railings
The royal railings have survived intact for at least 146 years, but are now in need of repair due to decades of exposure. As one of the few remnants of Claremont's tenure as a royal estate, we want to make sure the railings keep standing proud for centuries to come. That's why we're undertaking careful conservation work to remove the rust, repaint the metalwork in the original dark green, and re-gild the monograms and crowns.
The work will take place in stages over 2017-2018, at a cost of around £25,000.
How you can help
We're only able to carry out important conservation projects like this with your support. If you'd like to help keep Claremont's rich history alive, please buy some raffle tickets or drop in your spare change at the kiosk on your next visit to the garden. Or if you're considering making a larger donation, please call us directly on 01372 467806.