The Knole conservation blog keeps providing fascinating insights into the reality of looking after a large and complex historic house.
A recent post included images of the bright new lime mortar grouting of the stone floor in the Great Hall being painted to make it blend in – a wonderful example of the artifice required to preserve the aesthetic balance in a historic interior.
As the Knole conservation blog tells us, the Great Hall was part of the original palace built by Archbishop Bourchier in about 1460, but the Purbeck marble floor probably dates from the extensive remodelling of the building by Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset, in 1605-1608.
Over time the black flagstones have been worn away more than the white ones, due to their slightly different physical properties.
Cliveden Conservation recently carried out a survey of the floor in preparation for doing some remedial work.
The subsequent programme of work included removal of surface dirt, consolidation of flaking areas of stone, injecting of cracks with runny mortar and repointing between the flagstones with lime mortar – and some artful retouching with mortar colour.