14 September 2012

Conservation in Action at Wray Castle

September. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. And Conservation in Action month at Wray Castle.........

September is an ideal time to take a tour of the grounds of Wray Castle in the company of National Trust gardener Peter Tasker. As part of the Trust’s ‘Great British Walk’ Festival,Pete will take you on a stroll visiting the many fine trees and forgotten nooks and crannies of our gardens, woods and meadows. All touched by the reds and yellows of autumn. If you fancy joining Pete on a walk around Wray Castle grounds there are two more tours coming up; Monday the 17th and Monday the 24th, both starting at 2pm. There is no charge- just turn up with walking shoes and a coat!

The 'Secret Garden' at Wray Castle
Help! Are there any elephants out there who can help us? Or anyone else with a very long memory? We have begun a project to preserve a collection of glass plate images by Kenneth Shepherd, former Westmorland Gazette photographer during the 1930s and 1940s. We are in the process of cleaning and scanning his glass-plate slides. Many of these are not labelled. Can you help by recognising the people and places shown? You can see slides being cleaned and scanned at the Castle throughout September and October.

Hill Top Farm in the 1940s, just one of the many fascinating images we have discovered in the collection

Two other conservation projects are scheduled for the next couple of weeks. If you are able to visit on 19-21 Sept you can observe a master ceramics conservator in action as she cleans the paint away from the tile surround of the morning room fireplace and reveals the images hidden underneath. And one week later, on 26-28 an architectural wood carver will be demonstrating his craft.

Bricks being removed from the Morning Room fireplace in preperation for the tiles being revealed next week
Wray Castle is open everyday until the 4th of November and then weekends throughout November and December. Work is due to start on the roof later in September and we will be blogging regularly over the winter to keep you updated on our progress.

post by Rose | photos National Trust; Kenneth Shepherd
Kenneth Shepherd Hill Top photo (not to be reproduced without permission of National Trust)