Uncovering Layers of History

Uncovering Layers of History

The surveys have continued on the Hall and this week Karen Morrissey, who is a Conversation Manager and Paint Researcher at Messenger BCR, came to analyse the layers of paint on the Hall woodwork and some of the other old buildings on the Estate.  Karen pointed out that paint was not a new thing reminding us about cave painting in ancient times and she explained that painted decoration was typical in Churches from the Medieval times. The nature of paint types used varies with the period: whilst early church decoration was in lime or egg tempera, oil paints were adopted in the 15th century. Expensive pigments were used to express wealth and power, both in wall painting and in home decoration. For centuries painters and decorators made their own paints by grinding the pigments into the paint medium, however, by the end of the 19th century, an extensive range of paints was available to the householder. This range has continued to develop and expand as new, synthetic materials have been developed.

Karen Morrisey taking paint samples at the gate…

…and from some of the woodwork around the Estate!

The small slivers of paint that Karen took will be analysed using optical microscopy. Karen will use the microscope to look at the layers of paint in the same way an archaeologist reviews soil deposits.  X-ray fluorescence, alongside other chemical tests, will also be used enabling the chemical makeup to be recognised and reveal the composition of the paint samples. The layers uncover different paint applications over a period of time telling the history of part of the fabric of the building, allowing for authentic and appropriate restoration.

Purple Robot, a Lincoln-based Marketing and Design agency, celebrated their fifth birthday. Damien Howard-Pask and his Marketing team have worked closely with the Hall and Estate since we acquired it in December 2016. Their dynamic and professional approach is definitely part of the reason for their success and we look forward to watching them grow and go from strength to strength.  They have supported us with events, community liaison, designed our website, worked on our crest and created our logo and branding; as well as assisting us with social media and marketing opportunities.

The wet weather has made some of the Parklands rather wet!

Marmite surveying closely the recent work on the drains

The extraordinary weather we have been having recently has once again surprised us and made the need for sorting our drainage in the Parklands out even more important. The streams are running fast and furious and we have acquired an energetic waterfall. Of course, we are also trying to make drainage around the Hall better too. Marmite, one of our cats, has been keeping an eye on progress here and is taking his role very seriously – climbing into the drain to check the workmanship is up to scratch!

The bizarre thing was that we had also been busy making sure there will be adequate water for the cattle in the Spring.  Water stations have been installed and we have begun fencing the area as well. The Lincoln Red Herd is due to be with us in April.

Fortunately, the two lorry loads of gravel that has been raked over the stable courtyard over the last couple of weeks have prevented the area from becoming the muddy mire that it may have done in the past.

Colin the Gardener in the vegetable patch

Craig getting to grips with the mower!

Earlier in the week, the weather had been much kinder and Colin the gardener got to work on the vegetable patch in the walled gardens. It will be great to grow our own fruit and vegetables. We now have potatoes in the ground as a starting point! In fact, it was so warm and dry at the beginning of the week that Craig, our Hall Steward, got the ride-on mower out and gave the lawns their first cut. It took him a few goes to get used to the lawnmower and he was initially self-critical about how straight his lines were but he soon mastered the machine and the walled garden and south facing lawns looked great.