A once in a lifetime experience: Conservation in action for Thornhill's wall paintings at Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire, UK

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Lithgow, Katy; Boden, Nicky; Hill, Michelle; Lithgow, Richard; Measures, Kate;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 57, Number S1, p.181-190 (2012)


The National Trust owns and opens to the public historic houses containing an enormous quantity and range of decorative arts. Conserving these features in ways that enhance visitors' enjoyment through their experience of the conservation work is now as important an objective of conservation in the National Trust as improving these features' state of conservation. This paper takes as an example the conservation of the early eighteenth-century Baroque wall paintings decorating the staircase of Hanbury Hall (Worcestershire, UK) which presented considerable challenges not only in conservation but also in enabling the visiting public to experience the work. Evaluation of visitors' response is presented and discussed in the context of evaluations of other ‘conservation in action’ projects across the National Trust.