All friends and fans of Cliffe Castle will be aware that the building is now closed to undergo an exciting project of major refurbishment. We will keep you updated with how things are developing.
We are now at the end of our second week of packing here at the Castle. It’s a complex process. The team are working hard to ensure that the building and all of the 100,000 plus items here at the museum get the best care and protection while refurbishment happens and it’s proving to be a fascinating challenge.
Every item presents a different conundrum and everything has to be packed. You have to remember that ‘everything’ can include a huge range of things from an 18th century table to our famous stuffed two headed calf. Our brains are certainly well occupied (though not as well occupied as the calf’s…).
One of the first challenges was trying to decide how to protect our beautiful grained oak, wrought iron and gilt copper staircase. Created in the 1870s for Henry Isaac Butterfield, it is an amazing piece of work but incredibly fragile. Collections Officer Dale Keeton came up with the master plan to use tissue paper, bubble pack and cable ties and here is the end product. It now looks like a piece of modern sculpture thanks to Trevor, Andy, Neil and Alan, but tucked away inside is a delicate balustrade protected against dust and knocks.
Next we will be moving onto the packing and care of the smaller objects in our collections. We’ll keep you all informed of our progress.