Wimpole Wrapped!

Farm wrapped2

Plans are underway for our ‘Wimpole Wrapped’ Christmas this year. Red ribbon is appearing estate-wide as this year’s theme is extending outside and in…

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A peek at the main entrance into the Stable Block and Ticket Office.

Wimpole Wrapped

Have a look at how Wimpole is protected during the winter; from the conservation inside the Hall to the care of Home farm and the gardens as well. It will be taking place this weekend, the 7th and 8th of December; as well as next weekend, the 14th and 15th of December. Click the link above for more info on our events page.

At the farm, a huge 20ft Christmas tree has been put up in front of the great barn and Steph Turner, one of the Farm’s Experience Officers has said that it’s the first time the farm will have its tree positioned there. She has said that they’ve gone wrapping mad at the farm; buildings, trees, hay bales and even some of the tools are being decked out in ribbon.

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Here on the left is the Cart Barn, and its brick pillars are all wrapped and ready. On the right are some hay parcel presents, the animals will be pleased!

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Even the tractor is getting involved!

Wimpole pics 1 042Some of the buildings are being wrapped like giant presents, and Steph has said that there’s a few more big surprises that we’ll need to look out for too!

It’s an innovative way to do Christmas and she thinks it’s a great way to show off the brilliant conservation work across the estate, that everyone gets involved in, throughout the winter months.


Here we can see Barbara wrapping the dividing ropes inside the Hall.

While, below, Hilary prepares the chairs.

Hilary wrapping up a chair

The Gardens are having their fair share of wrapping too! The trees throughout the Pleasure grounds have been decorated, plus the Walled and Formal Gardens too.

The Walled Garden

The Walled Garden

The Formal Gardens

The Formal Gardens

And Of course the Stable Block tree; looking very magical thanks to Meg Hewett, one of our wonderful volunteers.


Come and visit Wimpole this weekend or next to see more of the festivities! Everybody has been working really hard to make it a great experience for everyone!



Day into Night.

So it’s almost time for Wimpole Hall to be closed up and tucked away for the chilly winter ahead.


The Grand Dining Room

Before that happens, however, we have one final weekend of excitement. So come along tomorrow, (Saturday 2nd) and Sunday 3rd of November to get your final glimpse inside the Hall.

While the team in the house continue to wrap, pack and store the precious items, it’s now time for the house itself to be wrapped up safely too. The weekend event is called ‘Day into Night’ and gives visitors the opportunity to explore the house as it looks in an evening setting. Shutters are closed, blinds are pulled and curtains are drawn as the Hall is lit with a beautifully atmospheric lamplight, really bringing the house alive.

Not one area is left in daylight, and even the domed skylight of the yellow drawing room is wrapped in sacking fom the outside to prevent light pollution. The contractors working in the room below, who were suddenly plunged into darkness this morning, were slightly confused! But the final effect was worth it.

The yellow drawing room, in 'evening' light

The yellow drawing room, in ‘evening’ light

The paint matching activity is still taking place in the Servants Hall down in the Basements. The room isn’t usually open for public access, so it’s a great opportunity to explore a bit more. Adults and children alike have been getting creative, and having fun, mixing up colour schemes to match to the walls. It’s tricky business, but lots of fun, and a great chance to learn more about the process involved!


For more information on either of these two events, please take a look at our events page here: http://bit.ly/JqpZED

Hidden Secrets

Plasterwork discovered beneath the floor

Plasterwork discovered beneath the floor

Some exciting finds in the Hall last week.

In this picture we can see plaster work that has been hiding for over a hundred years! Floor boards were taken up on the 1st floor of the Hall, for part of the cabling work. Sir John Soane who had altered the Long Gallery beneath this, at the end of the 18th century, chopped and changed the room layouts and floors.


Mary delving under the floorboards.

Here we can see that Mary Luckhurst has discovered the plasterwork from what would have been the room below, concealed in this void beneath the floor of the upper vestibule! It was a very exciting find, and we wonder what else could be down there…

French striking mantel clock by Gavelle c.1790

French striking mantel clock by Gavelle c.1790

As work in the Hall continues, it is important to protect everything! Here Mary is removing the 1790s bronze and marble cased French mantle clock from the Yellow drawing room, with the help of Richard Simmonds, the Horologist. The scaffolding will be going up right there, by the mirror and we don’t want to risk things falling on it.

With such precious items, only meticulous care can be given. The pendulum and loose parts are removed and then it is all carefully dusted inside and out with a pony hair brush before packing away in a correx box.

Steph Parsons, Assistant House Steward at Wimpole must have a very steady hand!

With such precious items, only meticulous care can be given. The pendulum and loose parts are removed and then it is all carefully dusted inside and out with a pony hair brush before packing away in a correx box.

The finished clock. All ready to be packed away…

Meanwhile, upstairs in the Chancellor’s bedroom the wrapping continues. Slightly funnier looking, but equally as important, these cherub figures get carefully wrapped in acid free paper.

They’re transformed into safe little Michelin men. Ready for protective storing in boxes in the room.





This Week!

Half Term is upon us and there’s lots to see and do at Wimpole.

A Paint Matching activity will be going on in the Servants Quarters of the Hall between 26th Oct – 3rd Nov.

A specialist painter will be repainting areas where there wiring has been removed. It is a difficult process to match up the colours and visitors are invited to join in and learn more about the process involved. All ages welcome. To find out more please check out our events page here: http://bit.ly/JqpZED

Wimpole Estate ‘Uncovered’

Discover how the farming of our land for food has, over time, shaped the landscape.  Over the weekend of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October there is a series of specialist talks, walks and demonstrations, where you can delve deeper into the landscape history at Wimpole.  There will be a combination of demonstrations, drop-in and pre-booked events.


If you see haystacks sprouting up in the park, these are to try to recreate the 17th century homes of Mr Pratt and his neighbours.  We also have a mini ploughing match, you can watch a heavy horse pulling a plough alongside a vintage tractor and then a modern farm tractor, which is the neatest, I think we might make a guess at which is the quickest?!

Don’t miss our expert Richard Wheeler, the National Trust’s Garden Historian talking about Beauty and function in kitchen garden design: a forty five minute guided walk focusing on Eighteenth landscape designers Charles Bridgeman, Lancelot (Capability) Brown, Robert Greening and William Emes.

Then there is our very own Head Gardener, Philip Whaites, talking about about growing pineapples in Cambridgeshire and yes, we do have a few wee ones in our pineapple beds, will they be ready for the Christmas table?  You can find out more about Pineapples in the Grand Dining Room and also see our newly acquired landscape painting of the park by the Cambridge artist R B Harraden.

For full details, times and locations of all our ‘Uncovered’ events – and to book your place – please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/article-1355798680277/