A carpet’s journey

Room view from the north West corner of the Saloon at Stourhead, Wiltshire

The Saloon at Stourhead, originally created by Henry Flitcroft in the 1740s but reconfigured by Doran Webb after a fire in 1902. The Axminster carpet has been in the room since at least 1824. ©National Trust Images/Bill Batten

The Axminster carpet in the Saloon at Stourhead has been there since the early nineteenth century, making its first known appearance in a sketch of the room by J.C. Buckler dated 1824.

Light and wear damage to the carpet. ©National Trust

Light and wear damage to the carpet. ©National Trust

Recently it was showing its age, and it has now been taken to the premises of carpet conservators The Tetley Workshop. The conservation treatment includes cleaning, adding support to damaged areas and restoring some of the losses.

Grid lines laid over the carpet to enable it to be surveyed in detail. ©National Trust

Grid lines laid over the carpet to enable it to be surveyed in detail. ©National Trust

The £36,000 cost of this project is part of the support received from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery towards the National Trust’s conservation priorities.

Cleaning in progress. ©National Trust

Cleaning in progress. ©National Trust

The 9.7 x 8.6 m. carpet has been moved once before, when the house caught fire in 1902 and the servants were trying to save what they could. This time round it took a sizable team of Stourhead gardeners and garden volunteers to help roll and move the carpet.

Repairs in progress. ©National Trust

Repairs in progress. ©National Trust

The carpet will be returning to Stourhead in November 2014.

4 Responses to “A carpet’s journey”

  1. Gésbi Says:

    It’s interesting to see the cleaning and restoring process – the grid, the screen for vacuuming. I’ve noticed the pitiful state of many antique rugs at sales – just waiting for the miracle of good restoration work! I know where to go in Paris, but I’ve also bought and recommend Peter Stone’s ‘Rug Repair’ book for those brave enough to try for themselves.

  2. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thanks Gésbi. I wouldn’t dare, I can barely sew a button back onto a shirt 🙂

  3. iryna wawryn Says:

    Great work, Great restoration. Keep up the good work.
    @irynawawrynstudio

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thanks Iryna.

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