My name is Lolly and I am one of the latest interns fortunate enough to help the House Team at Polesden Lacey.
I come from Knole in Sevenoaks (another National Trust property), where I’ve been volunteering at for the past 3 years, so doing an internship at Polesden Lacey is adding a new string to my bow.
I have enjoyed immersing myself into a totally different set up: from the collection to the way the team operates, it has opened my eyes to the variety of ways that the Trust uses to manage its places.
Knole has a history spanning several centuries; Polesden’s is firmly anchored in late 19th / early 20th century and feels almost contemporary.
Knole boasts rare furniture, tapestries, stately beds and cartoons; Polesden Lacey boasts old Dutch masters paintings, ceramics and a gilded Saloon ‘fit to entertain Maharajahs in’.
The work is also very different. At Knole, I mainly worked with the conservation team and focused on preventive conservation and putting the house to bed in winter.
Although I help the team at Polesden Lacey with daily clean and opening the house for visitors, I also have a project to call my own for the 6 months the internship lasts, which is quite rewarding. The Historic Interior project looks at the internal structure of Polesden Lacey and benchmarks in detail any and all damage to the fabric of the building, so as to inform future remedial work.
So far, I’ve been auditing the work done to date by previous interns and streamlining the documentation and recording methodology.
I’ve also been fortunate to attend several mini masterclasses on varied subjects such as statue wrapping (for winter protection), silver cleaning, marble floor care as well as regular emergency salvage training, to add to my overall knowledge.
The days have been flying by and I can’t wait to see what the next 3 months bring!