A wartime sanctuary

Detail of some of the crystal pendant droplets removed from one of the chandeliers in the Saloon at Dunham Massey

House Steward Lucy More explains how the conservation team planned the changes that took place to transform Dunham Massey into a hospital.

In order to recreate the Stamford Hospital, the rooms as we knew them needed to be cleared of all of their contents. Dunham Massey Hall also houses a mixed collection of around 25,000 objects, one of the largest collections in the care of the National Trust and conservation of the collection was of paramount importance. 

Making space

A large amount of space was required in the rooms that became the hospital and as a result many objects needed to be moved and stored away. The conservation and care of our precious collection has been a huge consideration while planning this project.

The conservation team planned their winter work which involved the cleaning and movement of the objects in all of the hospital rooms.

The work started at the beginning of 2013 with the team cleaning and organising storerooms to make space for the extra objects. Every object movement was carefully planned and recorded to make the process as easy as possible once the house closed.

A new home

With so many items coming off display for two years, this project provided a great opportunity to carry out conservation work on key objects from our major showrooms. Any that required specialist work were booked in with expert conservators.

Other items became part of a special Treasures exhibition in the house, focussed on telling the stories of objects that were moved from the hospital rooms.