Conservation reaches new heights at Wimpole

To understand more about the condition and construction of the gasolier in Wimpole’s Yellow Drawing Room, our conservation team went to new heights.

Once scaffolding had been carefully built, the team could get a closer look at the gasolier, featured within the dome of the drawing room, before cameras were used to get even closer to the top of the light and underneath.

Looking up at Wimpole's gasolier
View of the gasolier with scaffolding at Wimpole
Looking up at Wimpole's gasolier
" It’s a rare chance to be able to get a proper look at this wonderful gasolier which still holds a few mysteries for us."
- Iain Stewart

Iain Stewart, House and Collections Manager at Wimpole said: "Following this inspection, we'll be making some recommendations on how best to conserve the gasolier and we've already gained some insight into how it may have been lit when it was first installed."

Metal conservation expert Rupert Harris and Dr Ian West, an industrial archaeologist specialising in the development of country house technology, both relished the opportunity to get this unique perspective on the gas light, which is suspended some 15 metres from the ground.

The intricate metal work and crystals of the gasolier at Wimpole
Detail of the gasolier at Wimpole
The intricate metal work and crystals of the gasolier at Wimpole

Chris Calnan, National Trust Conservator said: “To get the same view of the gasolier as when it was originally installed around the 1880s is really special. Today was about getting a better view of the light and a clearer picture on what work may need to be done in future to help conserve this exquisite crystal gasolier.”

Close up of the detail in the gasolier at Wimpole
Detail of Wimpole's gasolier
Close up of the detail in the gasolier at Wimpole

In case you’re wondering if those ancient cobwebs were removed as part of the inspection, we can report that they are still very much intact for now.