December 2012


Following two weeks of work, a mighty scaffolding tower has now been installed behind this screen in the Painted Hall's upper hall.

This printed screen is an exact replica of Sir James Thornhill's painted masterpiece in the Baroque style, the west wall. It spans the entire arch and took 4 men to hoist into position. Its installation kick starts a programme of activity between December 2012 and May 2013 to conserve the west wall of the Painted Hall.

The conservation project is led by expert wall painting conservators Paine & Stewart. The painting was last conserved 50 years ago so it will be a huge task to clean areas of grime and stabilise some large cracks in the wall. We've found some amazing stuff on the walls so far, from dust, grease, soot, to gravy!


As part of this Heritage Lottery Funded project, we are also excited to be starting a programme of activities with visitors and members of the local community to explore the conservation works further and to produce a range of creative responses.

From mid-January this will include tours of the scaffolding (on our specially constructed 10m high viewing platform), a documentary film project with local students and, an exhibition co-curated by local ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students and many more activities.

This news feed will provide regular updates throughout the project, including posts from the conservation team about the progress of the works and from people in the local community talking about their involvement.

Keep an eye on the website for information about all upcoming events and activities.

Written by Jess from the ORNC's Learning team

Blog: Get up close

Read our blog to hear from those who were involved in the Painted Hall conservation.

The Painted Hall, a masterpiece

Sir James Thornhill’s Painted Hall is a masterpiece. Learn about its history before your visit.

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