Hinton House state bed re-construction project update

Copy of the cornice, delivered and it looks fantastic. The carving and carved curves of the original cornices has been faithfully copied by carver Mike Howden. Jon Wray, joiner, undertook the manufacture of the structural works, to which the carvings are attached, and mouldings such as the very bold cove, technically quite a challenge to make.

As with the tester, whose original construction left rather a lot to be desired, so it is with the original cornices. Brilliant carving, but rickety structural work. Jon Wray, working with Mike Howden, devised an understructure that is very light, but rigid. Like the consolidation work on the tester the new constructional design is essential for rigidity, but unseen.

Meanwhile, work progresses on the construction of the oak bed frame. State beds of this era follow a standard pattern, and it is the state bed at Dyrham Park that has been used as the example to follow.

 Conserving the textiles involves, in part, careful cleaning to remove years of dust.
The tester has been turned over so that the textile conservator can undertake consolidation and cleaning of the surviving textiles, and disguise areas of loss.

The ceiling void above where the tester is to be suspended has been assessed, and the requisite support structure designed. There is a massive RSJ steel beam to attach to, a beam that was added years ago to support the weight of the showcases in the room above the Crimson Bedroom. The pilot hole is being marked in the picture left. The RSJ is on the left side of the picture on the right. The drill bit can just be seen between the tape measure and the RSJ.


We found a very dead bird near the point of tester suspension. Poor thing must have found its way in through a disused sealed up chimney in the room, with a gap down in the void, and gotten trapped. All chimneys were capped when Temple Newsam was re-roofed in the late 1990s. Not the first dead bird I have come across in Leeds’ historic houses, I hope it is the last.

By Conservator Ian Fraser

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s