Fixing the house

Newark House salvage after water leak

During the severe storms in March 2018, the house sadly suffered a water leak that damaged the East wing. Despite the pipes being lagged, the cause was a burst water pipe in the roof space.

What happened?

The leak happened in the early hours of the morning. The heavy snow fall meant that we'd already closed the estate.

Luckily, we discovered the leak quickly and with a fantastic team effort from our colleagues at regional office, we managed to stop the leak and salvage pieces of the collection that were at risk.

Plumbers soon arrived to assess the pipe system and repair the damaged pipes.

Salvage operation

Our work began in earnest as we drained the water from the house and started the long process to dry it out. We removed floorboards and some wallpapers and placed specialist dehumidifiers in the affected rooms. We even used specialist vacuum cleaners to extract the moisture from the cavities between the different floors. To minimise risk of damage, items from the collection were assessed and moved to dry rooms. With so many items, this was much harder and took us much longer than we thought.

Staff salvaging collection items in Newark House
Newark House salvage works
Staff salvaging collection items in Newark House

We were able to assess the condition of the house by measuring then humidity in each room. Using specialist equipment, we were also able to measure the moisture levels in the wooden beams and floorboards. Experts came in to help us survey the floors and ceilings, including the historic plasterwork. The leak also gave archaeologists a chance to do some research on the history of the house. With the floorboards up, they were able to see a lot more.


" After spending the winter busily prepping and polishing the house ready for opening, it was heartbreaking for the team to see the damage. Heartbreak soon turned to determination. Everyone's pulled together to get the house repaired and collection conserved. Repairs continue but the team's love for Newark House is as strong as ever."
- Lisa Edinborough, Visitor Experience Manager - Cotswold countryside