The Conservators are doing such an excellent job that they are ahead of schedule. Look at the fantastic progress they have made.
Restoring the Central Hall floor
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 are being 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.
For some of the winter months, you will be able to access the central hall, and view the work going on behind large Perspex screens.
Central Hall restoration process.
- removal of the linoleum tiling
- removal of the thick bituminous levelling compound underneath
- cleaning and re-surfacing the original stone floor
- repairs to any broken stone paviours
- replacement of worn areas with appropriate new stone. This is particularly important in the doorways which will have seen most wear in the past.
- Sourcing and cutting the new stone
- removal, storage and replacing the sculpture, including the two Classical nudes, on their rotating bases.
- Adjusting the levels at all the doorways
- protection of the walls and columns from dust, and impact damage
- removal and conservation of skirting boards, which are embedded behind and beneath the floor; removal of the discoloured varnish, consolidation of the paintwork, touching-in of losses and re-varnishing with a conservation grade varnish to match the columns and pilasters
- plumbing of radiators which need to be removed during the project
- conservation of doorways, door saddles etc
14 Nov 16
Revealing the floor
25 Oct 16
Removal of the thick bituminous levelling compound
Careful removal of the thick bituminous levelling compound underneath the linoleum tiling to reveal the original Sandstone.
17 Oct 16
Lifting the modern linoleum tiling
The Marble Statues have been removed from the Central Hall to begin the process of lifting the modern linoleum tiling to reveal the original stone floor which dates to the creation of this part of the house in the 1840s.