As exploratory work continues in the ground floor storage rooms of the house, the large (and very heavy) models of both the Britannia and the Menai Suspension Bridges needed to be moved to their new, temporary homes in another area of the house. After removing a window, and with a lot of additional help from several members of the Ynys Môn and Plas Newydd team, ‘The Bridges’ were on their way up and out. With several members of the team positioned to lift, support and to monitor the move every step of the way, it was a cautious and well-executed move. It wasn’t long before both bridges were safe inside the Gothick Hall. This will be their temporary home until February 2020, when the house re-opens. The logistics of a reservicing project such as the one currently underway at Plas Newydd are significant and complex. For work to be carried out in any one room, collection items will often need to be moved and meticulous planning in advance is essential to safeguard both the item and the structure of the building.
Plas Newydd: Reservicing project
With every family home there's always a certain amount of upkeep to be expected and the same is true of Plas Newydd, just on a slightly larger scale.
Over the coming years Plas Newydd will be undergoing a large scale refit (reservicing) that will see the replacement of the majority of its mechanical services including heating, electrical, and other essential systems - many of which were first installed during the 1930s.
Excitingly, Plas Newydd will not only be changing behind the scenes. It will also see changes in the visitor experience to reflect this pivotal period in its history; exploring the stories of the period and the people that changed Plas Newydd in the 1930s into the family home we see today.
What, why and how?
Mechanical services have a shorter design life span when compared to a building's structural elements such as walls and roofs. The time has now arrived for these to be replaced at Plas Newydd in order to provide a comfortable and safe environment for our visitors, staff and residents; as well as meeting conservation standards.
Caring for this special place and the collection is the primary objective of the National Trust and this re-servicing work will stand the property in good stead for the next 50 to 70 years.
Will I still be able to visit?
Although subject to change, exploratory work began during winter 2017 will last until 2020. It has been planned in order to avoid closing the house for large periods of time. It is also to provide visitors to the house with an opportunity to see the project as it progresses; to experience the house as it may have been the last time work of this magnitude was carried out during the 1930s and to see some rooms stripped bare and used for the storage of items not usually on display.
During this period it is planned that the house will only close completely during our winter break from 3 November 2019 until 29 February 2020.
However, some rooms may need to be closed periodically in the upcoming months and some of the collection will have to be moved and stored in order to facilitate lifting floorboards and replacing systems. Our aim is to keep the disruption to a minimum and also to share this once in a lifetime experience with our visitors. Join us and see the house in a whole new way.
15 Nov 19
Moving ‘The Bridges’
08 Nov 19
New compound on site
The contractors’ new compound is situated in what was the staff and residents’ car park, directly behind the Sunroom Courtyard wall. It is safely tucked away so that it doesn’t affect the view to the house and across the Menai Strait, but it is still close enough for the team of contractors to use as their main base. The new ‘double-decker’ office in the compound will be the hub for the contractors on site during the next 2 to 3 years.
11 Jul 19
Installation week for Behind the Stage
The House and Collections team are moving many items and preparing rooms in readiness for the brand new experience inside the house starting on Saturday 20 July 2019, Behind the Stage. We've also had a team of contractors hard at work outside. They're building the new entrance porches into the experience.