House Project – Behind the Scenes Tour

On Wednesday 14 November at 2.00pm, our House & Collections Manager, Louise will be guiding visitors around the house to see for themselves the ongoing work taking place within the conservation project.

This will be an exclusive tour of the conservation project and you will see the work we carry out once the house closes. The tour will look at some of the problems that the project will tackle in the showrooms, exploring the work that will be taking place over the next 3 years. You will also get the chance to look into rooms that have never been seen by visitors before, see the specially created purpose built store in the chapel and also look in detail at the structural issues and solutions that we will be carrying out to the house. You will also have the chance to see the winter clean work we do and how we care for the collection here at Mount Stewart.

Booking is essential for this tour and the price is £10 per adult / member adult.

To book a place, please contact our reception on (028) 4278 8387.


The Joiner’s Workshop

I was looking through old files and came across the early sketches and plans for the joiner’s workshop, so thinking it might be of interest for at least some of you, I thought a blog post would be in order.

When I first came into the Trust, there was no workshop or any space which could be converted into a workshop so we, the joinery team couldn’t carry out any of our duties.

I was asked if I had any idea as to what was needed, so I had in the recesses of my mind a structure that would be suitable.

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The structure was easy to build and consisted of two steel containers placed parallel to each other 30ft/9.1m apart. The area between the containers was to be the workshop floor area. This area would house all the machinery, tools as well as the joiners bench.

Work began on the 13th of Feb 2012.

The first operation was the clearing of the site, followed by the laying of the stone base and the ecogrid. The ecogrid was a fantastic material to provide a stable flat surface on which to lay the containers.

On 16 February the containers arrived, this was when things got serious! Heavy machinery, a crane and two 40ft Lorries carrying the containers all converging on one spot! Needless to say, that day I was stressed out. My main concern was the public who would not know what was going on and might unwittingly stumble into the area of works.

The next stage we started to rook the area over the two containers, the containers doubled as storage and the wall plates for the roof to sit on.

17 February saw the commencement of the closing in of the structure. This consisted of placing a vapour barrier between the containers and the stud walls that would be fixed to the sides of the containers.

On the 29 February we started to roof the structure. 18mm plywood screwed to the rafters with felt tiles stuck down to plywood was the finish we desired.

On 3 March the Siberian larch sheeting arrived and commencement of sheeting the workshop began immediately. The sheeting was supplied by Cranwood Industries, which produced the moulding in record time!

The same day, the electricians began their job of wiring the workshop; this was a hectic time with the builder’s groundsmen, joiners and electricians all in one spot!

On the 6 March the pressure was really piled on!!! We needed to complete the workshop by 10 March, as the property was due to open again after the winter months.

The structure was almost complete, one thing outstanding was the decking at the front.

Relief! 10am on the morning of 10 March the job was done.

Now when you visit, you can understand the structure better and see what it took to get the building up. If we are in the building when you arrive, you are welcome to come and have a look and we are more than willing to chat, mind tho we are very busy and would absolutely hate for anyone to hold us back!!!!