New doors and windows

This week, Cliveden Conservation Conservator, Andrea Walker, talks us through the doors and window replacement on the Folly Project.

Take the opportunity to climb the scaffold tower surrounding Folly, it’s currently open at weekends until the end of October, booking

Tracery Windows

Until now, the tracery windows on the Main Tower have been boarded up with timber and chicken wire. The idea of having the covers in place was to keep the worst of the weather and the pigeons out. (The pigeons here at the folly are a determined bunch and, if not kept in check, they muscle their way in and attempt to repopulate the interior of the tower.)

Blocked and boarded upIMG_3324

The covers are now being replaced with better ventilated options, floor-by-floor, to allow air into the tower while our specialist wood team work inside.New ventilated window coveres

Our friendly contact at Architectural Glass measured and template all 10 windows. With that and the few remaining examples of what are believed to be original frames, they’ve begun production of the new frames and glass.

Original window framesA bent original window frame

Once completed, we’ll hold off on installing these until closer to the end of the project, to ensure they don’t get broken.


Wimpole Folly 1979_13 (basement and entrance door)

The basement and entrance doors c1973

There are 2 doors on the Main Tower: one at ground level and one that will open off the wooden balcony we will be reinstating.

Original door at ground level

Original door at ground level

Original door_detail

Detail on original door

At ground level the original door is still in place and has been covered over with boards for it’s protection while we work around it. Maple Joinery will be refurbishing this door and reinstalling it closer to the end of the project.

Drawing for a new door

The other door will be made new, based on historic photographs and detailed measurements taken on site. This too will be installed closer to the end of the project, around the time the new balcony is also installed.

Keep it Clean

Grand Dining Room

Grand Dining Room

The re-cabling is a really big project at Wimpole, and certain measures have to be taken to keep the Hall safe while it’s happening.

The Grand Dining Room

The Grand Dining Room

Here, in the Grand Dining Room, scaffolding was constructed in order to hang protection over one of the important paintings. The material used is called Tyvek and is a waterproof fabric made from polyethylene fibres. It’s very light, but strong too.

Protective covers are to be found all over the Hall but normal duties must continue in the hall as well.


Below, we can see our Conservation Assistant Julia vacuuming for the Winter Clean.

The deep clean of the Hall takes place in the Winter when there are less people around and longer periods of time can be devoted to it; it is essential to the conservation work. Julia is removing the dust from one of the chair cushions in order to prevent it from wearing away at the fibres of the fabric. The vacuuming itself is done through a nylon gauze. This is the same for all the textiles and it just prevents abrasion to the fabrics that are being worked on.

All sorts of things go on behind the closed doors of the Hall in winter. One important aspect of maintaining Wimpole, is to ensure all the records are up to date.

Lesley Hoskins Red RoomLesley Hoskins 2

Meet Leslie Hoskins! She has been looking at the wall paper throughout the Hall. She’s been taking photos, and taking samples. She’s dating all the old wall paper for the Hall team and contributing her knowledge to the sample records that they keep.

Yvonne Lewis has also been hard at work…

Yvonne Lewis

Yvonne Lewis

Yvonne is the Assistant Libraries Curator and has been busy cataloguing a new acquisition of books and papers owned by the 4th Earl of Hardwick who lived in the Hall during the 19th Century, from 1834 for nearly 40 years. He was an Admiral and known affectionately as ‘Old Blowhard’ because of his naval background. The documents include his Great Exhibition catalogue of 1851 and Navy lists for 1796, ’97 and ’98. Navy lists are a document of those who were serving on each of the Navy’s ships and these particular ones are not held in any of the National Trust’s libraries! So it’s a pretty important task!