Hi! My name is Amy and I’m one of the Internship Conservation Assistants here at Polesden Lacey. The blog this week is about the project that I am working on during my time here at Polesden.
I am currently spending my spare time away from regular housekeeping duties, such as vacuuming and dust mopping, working in one of the basement stores. There are lots of items in the store which have not yet been added to the Collections Management System (CMS), so this is my task over the next few months. If you would like to have a closer look at the collections of all National Trust Properties then you can take a look here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/
The first step is to complete an inventory record sheet for each of the items stored in the room I am working on. I will then need to photograph each item so that it can be identified more easily once it has been uploaded onto CMS. The next stage will be to upload each item onto CMS, assigning each a number and marking it on the object, so that we know what is being stored where, should we need to locate it! Finally I will be collaborating with other house team members to move objects around in the various stores, so every object is stored in the appropriate conditions. So far I have recorded over 50 items, with many more to go, as the picture below shows!
Many of the items in this store are architectural, there are lots of off cuts of wood paneling, radiator covers, old doors, marble sink surrounds; it’s a really eclectic mix! My favourite pieces so far are four travelling trunks used by Mrs Greville when she went away. Three of them are black metal, whilst the other is wooden. There is a similar one on display in the house, so come and have a look and see if you can spot it! It has a brass plate that reads ‘THE HONBLE MRS. R.F. GREVILLE/ No.6’, one of many trunks that would have been required for her travels! The wooden trunk in the basement has a similar label, but seems to have been number 7. One of the metal trunks still has a ‘With Care’ label stuck to the side, so perhaps carried some of her more precious items.
There is also a lovely marble sink surround for two sinks. Mrs Greville had 10 en-suite guest bedrooms at Polesden, as well as her own and her father’s room, which was very unusual at the time. The sink surround is likely to have come from one of these many bathrooms. You can see her marble bathroom as part of her apartments, and there is also the Portico bathroom, so make sure you don’t miss these when you visit!
Once we have a good idea of what is in the basement store, we may be able to put some items to good use. In the meantime I can be found rummaging around trying to work out what other hidden curiosities might be lurking in Polesden’s basements!