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Newark Park – two rooms in the house open once more

Newark Park News

Two rooms in Newark Park house have reopened to visitors- the first time they have been able to get into the house since it was affected by water from burst pipes on 4 March.
About half of the rooms in the house were affected and 11 large dehumidifiers have been used to help slowly dry out the house. Floor boards have been lifted and fans used to move the damp air to the dehumidifiers – with positive results already being seen.
The Drawing Room has now reopened with information about the leak and how the house and its contents were saved from worse damage. The Garden Room will also be open as a new home for the National Trust shop at Newark Park.
With the house closed, National Trust staff and volunteers have had to adapt. Volunteers who usually work as house guides have been offering help outside the house. This includes a new architecture tour looking at the exterior of the house and various phases of building from the Tudor hunting lodge to the present day building.
The garden tour has also been shortened to one hour to allow people time to take both tours if they wish.
‘We’re an independent charity so we are really indebted to our volunteers for supporting us and adapting so well to the challenging circumstances,’ said Stefanie van Stokkom, Operations Manager at Newark Park.
‘The house itself is slowly drying out but it will take some time. Our 11 dehumidifiers are whirring away all the time. The humidity levels in the air are now normal which means furniture and other items in the collection are safe. We are using a meter to measure the moisture levels in the timbers of the floors which are also coming down slowly. Once we know the floor boards and joists are dried enough, we can remove the dehumidifiers from those rooms.
Mould has been found in one of the bedrooms which is thought to be a legacy of a previous historic mould outbreak that has restarted in the damp air following the leak. A test patch has been cleaned and the mould hasn’t returned so the Trust conservators are optimistic it can be properly contained.
The furniture and collection in the house was moved quickly out of the way of the leak on the day it happened but has now been sorted and carefully stored in the dry rooms where conservators have been doing condition checks.
Stefanie continued: ‘It has been a difficult few weeks since the leak, but our teams here have worked hard, we’ve had great support from our visitors and we know there will be no long term damage to the house as a result.’

Although the Trust hopes to open more of the house as soon as it can, it hasn’t yet been able to put a date on when any more rooms will be able to be seen by the public once more.
More information is available via the website.

Explore Gloucestershire
27 April 2018

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