The National Trust cares for some of our most cherished places, landscapes and wildlife habitats on the Northumberland Coast including Lindisfarne Castle, The Farne Islands, the two inland sites of Ros Castle and St Cuthbert's Cave, and over 12 miles of stunning coast over a forty mile stretch. These include St Aidan's dunes at Seahouses, Beadnell lime kilns, Craster to Low Newton (including Dunstanburgh Castle and Embleton Bay), Buston Links at Alnmouth and Druridge Bay.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Conservation On Chapel Woodwork
Our Conservator John Wynn-Griffiths, talks about one of the ongoing challenges the sea environment causes on the Farne Islands and our need to undertake some remedial conservation works.
"One of our conservation tasks
this year is looking in more detail at the woodwork in St Cuthbert’s Chapel on the Inner Farne. This is
the suprising home of some important panelling and pews. Originally made for
Durham Cathedral in the 17th century, they were moved to the island
in the late 19th century as part of a restoration of the Chapel.
When you walk in from the brightness outside, it takes a while for your eyes to
adjust to the gloom inside the Chapel. When you can see properly the Gothic
woodwork is a complete surprise.
"It's when you look carefully
you start to spot the problems. The iron nails holding decorative bits in place
have rusted through and these bits are dropping off, to be carefully stored of
course. Damp is beginning to show on the pew backs. As always with such projects, things are not straightforward. Damp
is always going to be a chronic problem in a small unheated Chapel on a small
island off the North East coast. And of course the island has limited
electricity so easy solutions are out.
"Towards the end of last month I brought several of the National Trust’s expert advisers across from the mainland in a
small boat to visit the Chapel. This was the first time we have brought
together the Trust’s experts to try to find a solution to some of the Chapel's conservation
challenges. And with such an unusual building we will need to come up with
something equally unusual."
John will be updating with progress on this project over the coming months