Glorious sunshine has created a cheery atmosphere in Palace House this summer. But the sunlight brings unique challenges for the Palace House preservation team…
A Sunny outlook
As Palace House is a family home you won’t find drawn curtains and darkened rooms as you explore. Instead the rooms are awash with sunlight, to be found as bright and cheery spaces on a summer’s day.
In rooms such as the Upper Drawing Room the sunshine allows the fine details of the gold leaf work to be seen, such as the animals at the top of the room border; fish, birds and beasts, that may on a dark day be missed.
Sadly the sunshine is not so glorious for the furniture! The sun bleaches the woodwork and paint colours, and textiles such as curtain linings become very dry and brittle. Special UV filters are added to the windows to try to limit the amount of harmful rays allowed into the room, and conditioners and waxes are used to preserve the colours as much as possible.
Unfortunately it is not possible to restore the colour of all of the sun damaged objects and the fading becomes part of the items history and charm!
On a fine day it is always worth climbing the grand staircase to the upper rooms to look at the views across the Estate. From Palace House you can see the Beaulieu River twisting and turning on its way to Buckler’s Hard and people going about their daily business in Beaulieu village below.
A special opportunity arose to access the roof of Palace House while the Stonemason was carrying out repairs. It was a shaky climb up to the top of the ladders for the Keeper of Collections, who after managing to finally release her grasp from the scaffolding captured this picture of the amazing view from such a height!
It was also an opportunity to come face-to-face with the gargoyles and grotesques that adorn the roof top, the detail of which can’t easily be seen from the ground.
Some of the gargoyles and grotesques have been replaced over the centuries; the most recent replacement was in 2006 when a new corbel was made in the likeness of Edward, 3rd Lord Montagu as a gift for his 80th birthday!
In 1976 Edward, 3rd Lord Montagu of Beaulieu celebrated his 50th birthday. The party was a big success with guests dressing in WWII period costumes and singer Dame Vera Lynn providing the entertainment! Commerative ‘EM 50’ cups were made to mark the special occasion in the style of the time…Tin!
A limited number of these cups will be available to buy during the International Autojumble weekend (3rd & 4th September 2017). They can be purchased from the Gift Shop (or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org)
Visitors have been busy in the newly restored Victorian Kitchen this summer, helping the Cook to hand-craft dough into shapes. These are just some of the wonderful pastry creations made by Palace House visitors!