Rufford Uncovered

Conservation team carefully moving a painting onto the ground

2019 will be a year of rediscovery for Rufford with opportunities to take a closer look at our collection and explore how we care for objects.

Re-discovering Rufford

We have embarked on an ambitious Collections Review project with the aim of taking a closer look at the objects in our care. There are over 4,000 items on display and in store at Rufford but of these no more than 250 are indigenous to the Hall. By completing the Collections Review we want to understand how all these objects came together to form the unique and diverse collection we see today. It is all about increasing our knowledge of our collections; what we have, why we have it, where it has come from and why it is so significant.

Step back in time on your visit to Rufford Old Hall
The Drawing Room at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire
Step back in time on your visit to Rufford Old Hall

Sharing Stories

A 500 year old house is bound to have some hidden histories and amusing anecdotes about times gone by and every object has a story to tell. The more we can learn about our collection the more engaging and informed stories we can share with our visitors.  

During 2019 we want to highlight what we think are some of the most intriguing objects in our collection and ask you for your opinion; what do you enjoy seeing at Rufford Old Hall and what do you want to know more about?

Creating Collections

Many of us collect objects, sometimes even without thinking. From stamps to coins, shells to ceramics, books to antiques we are building private collections based on our own likes and interests, in a way creating our own mini-museums.

The collecting habits of two men in particular have shaped the Rufford of today. The 7th Baronet was a gentleman follower of Victorian fashion with a love of the neo-Gothic while Philip Ascroft was a local man passionate about preserving the rural past. As we learn about the collections of Ruffords past we want to know what you, our visitors, are collecting today and what you would like to see at Rufford of the future.

Portrait Conservation at Rufford Old Hall
Portrait Conservation at Rufford Old Hall
Portrait Conservation at Rufford Old Hall

Conservation in Action

As well as the exciting work into exploring our collection we also want to share all the preventative conservation tasks that are usually done behind closed doors. During 2019 you are invited to watch our team carry out vital work protecting the wonderful objects in our care.

Conservation in action can be anything from the small jobs to the very large! From cleaning family portraits with a brush and a low pressure hoover to monitoring daily light levels we want to share with you all the work, thought and planning that goes into caring for every object in our collection. There will be lots of opportunities to learn more about the work we do with talks and tours and the chance to get involved in some of our daily tasks.