Furnishing the Rectory and locating the past

Robert Miller returned early this week to assist Caron in placing the furniture purchased from Hemswell Antiques, which was delivered and stored last week. They already had an idea which rooms they wanted to put things in but naturally changed things around to ensure the best look.

Their remit had always been that the interior should look like that of a real Rectory at the turn of the nineteenth century. They were also tasked in furnishing a training room that could accommodate guests on courses. The Breakfast Room, which is a large bay windowed room with delightful views, was given more up-market furniture including a huge 10-seater mahogany table to allow guests to breakfast together or indeed to hold meetings in.

The George III Serpentine Sideboard in there is both elegant and functional as it will provide storage and a wide table top to display breakfast ingredients. The Edwardian Cabinet will house china and the George III Writing Desk adds interest especially with the old letter weighing scales on top. The Hallway shows off the pink glass and brass chandelier and also has an ecclesiastical music stand and a Monks’ Bench. The Entrance Hall has a marble top table where guests can sign in. The training room has 2 refectory tables which have been adjusted to the same height so they can be slotted together or positioned separately and twelve stick backed chairs.

Upstairs the two Duchesse dressing tables have gone into the most spacious rooms and we have nearly enough drawers to provide storage for most bedrooms. We still need one large set and also some more painting and ornamental artefacts to finish off the rooms.

Our Duke of Edinburgh volunteer, Leah, stopped by one afternoon after school to help unpack the paintings, mirrors and other artefacts as we have already purchased quite a few of these. She really enjoyed unwrapping them and seeing the interesting images and guessing what some of the things were.

Eddy, from Woods, helped fix a couple of items on to the wall, such as the large over mantle mirror and the top on the Edwardian cabinet in the Breakfast Room, but other items will be fixed when further purchases have been made and the placing has been more carefully considered.

Back at the Hall, we unwittingly discovered a leak coming down from a faulty radiator in the library. The water found its way into a ground floor room that had a lot of old books and papers in. We quickly rescued these and laid them out on towels to dry out. David Lindsay Plumbers came quickly and drained the system to prevent further damage.

The Layers of History team were back with us this week. This time they were carrying out a geophysics survey on areas of the Parkland where we thought the Old Rectory might have been and also the possible ornate garden designed by William Kent or Edward Gardner. It was good that they could come early in April as it is Herd Manager, John Crutchley, intention to get the Lincoln Red Cattle back out in the Parkland towards the middle of the month.

The Parkland has been tidied up as well. Broken twigs and branches have been stacked against tree trunks to provide habitats for wildlife… in fact we have already spotted a mouse sneaking into one of the stacks!