The judges praised the project for re-establishing the unity of this historic painted space, enabling the trompe l’oeil effects to be appreciated as its creator, Sir James Thornhill, intended.The judges also said that this conservation project has added considerably to our understanding of English Baroque wall painting techniques.
It was a good example of the importance of rigorous planning in order to integrate research, specialist advice and conservation skills. The project benefitted from good communication between the conservators, the Perry Lithgow Partnership, and the National Trust staff who acted as informed and collaborative clients.
Finally, the decision to allow the public to view the project up close was another factor in the project’s favour. Michelle Hill, the house steward at Hanbury, and her teams of volunteers organised ‘meet the gods’ tours and other activities to give visitors a better understanding of the murals and of the treatment they were receiving.