Both Angela and Margaret have always loved Blackwell. A conservation clean inside Baillie-Scott's Windermere masterpiece can only be a pleasure.
Our work was focused mainly on the Main Hall and Corridor, where we took advantage of a brief closed period to collect high and low level dust, buff furniture and panelling, dust small objects, remove old polish residues and clean and rewax the floor, working with an enthusiastic team of staff and volunteers.
It was a privilege to spend quality time working closely on the delicately crafted carved flowers and plants on the panelling, especially our personal favourite - the signature rowan leaves and berries in the Main Hall. Working systematically across each section gave us time to appreciate the individuality of each hand made detail that so perfectly represents the arts and crafts ethos.
One of the most striking aspects of Blackwell is the way in which the decoration appears so effortlessly integrated into the overall architectural scheme - and every time we took a break to look out of the window we were reminded of the link between architecture and landscape, too. It's hard not to be distracted by those views of Windermere, even in January!
Cleaning, waxing and buffing the elegant narrow boards of the Hall floor was perhaps the most rewarding work - and particularly important due to the level of use which this much-loved space experiences. We were glad to leave everything looking its best and well protected for another busy visitor season.
Main header image: detail of rowan berry carving in the Main Hall at Blackwell the Arts & Crafts House
From top: Angela carefully removing cobwebs from the Main Hall ceiling (photo M Reid/Lakeland Arts); applying polish to the Main Hall floor (photo M Reid/Lakeland Arts); staff and volunteer team applying polish to the Main Hall floor (photo M Reid/Lakeland Arts); detail of rowan berry carving in the Main Hall - one of the areas where old polish had to be painstakingly removed; elegant copper lights and the fragile and light sensitive peacock frieze in the Main Hall (photo Hog & Fitch); buffing the Main Hall floor (photo: M Reid/Lakeland Arts); fragile stone carving in the Main Hall (photo: Hog & Fitch)
All photos reproduced courtesy of Lakeland Arts