Central Hall Floor Project

The Central Hall floor restoration is nearing completion, revealing the original Scrabo stone floor which dates back to the 1840’s and bringing the central hall back to its heyday glory and returning it to the style which Edith, Lady Londonderry originally intended.

You might wonder why wasn’t this done as part of the original project? For 2 years during the restoration project, the central hall was used as a major store to house the collection whilst building work was undertaken in other parts of the house. It meant we could retain the collection in a secure, stable environment, and allow our visitors to see objects close, like they would not have done before. It also meant that there was no opportunity to carry out the work to the stone floor, which will take a clear 5 months.

The modern tiles were lifted to reveal the original stone floor which dates to the creation of this part of the house in the 1840s. The original stone came from Scrabo quarry, which was owned by the family, and is just to the south west of Newtownards.  It is sandstone.  The stone in the centre of the floor was laid in a radiating pattern, while the stone at either end was laid in a pattern of octagons and squares.

Jon Kerr, general manager at Mount Stewart said: ‘We are extremely proud that the project was recently awarded the building conservation award at the 2016 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Awards. The award recognises the hard work of the project team and the hundreds of volunteers that made it all possible. We are also delighted that we were able to keep the house open during this huge project so that our supporters and visitors could see conservation in action.’