Saturday, 25 February 2012

Mount Stewart Seminar


I attended a National Trust Staff Conference today at Mount Stewart, County Down. About one hundred staff and volunteers were invited.

The purpose of today's meeting was to explain the £6 million Mount Stewart Conservation Project at length, embracing Edith Lady Londonderry's vision for the gardens.

We gathered in the surroundings of the magnificent marble Hall.

The Trust is embarking on the most significant renovation of the House in its history, addressing serious structural defects, subsidence, damp and drainage; upgrading electrics, plumbing, fire, security and conservation controls.

Additional conservation work in order to enhance the visitor experience, including the opening-up of the basement; the gallery (which has subsided by four inches since the 1950s) above the Hall; and even part of the roof to visitors. More rooms will be open to visitors.

A provisional joiner's workshop is being erected adjacent to the coach-house for the three-year project.

Interestingly, Mount Stewart House consumed 1,000 litres of heating fuel per week. It now uses biomass as the principal energy source.

We enjoyed an informal lunch in the Restaurant consisting of some delicious soup and fresh sandwiches.

After lunch, we went for a walk in the demesne, round the lake.

This was a good opportunity to meet other colleagues for an informal chat.


Anonymous said...

Tim, do you know if the family still occupy part of the house? VC

Timothy Belmont said...

Indeed they do, for part of the year at least.

The life tenant is Lady Rose Lauritzen, one of the late Lady Mairi Bury's daughters.

Peter Lauritzen was in residence today - I saw him.