From April 2015 Trinity’s chapel will be undergoing an extensive programme of renovation and restoration.
In 2010 a report into the state of the chapel revealed that the exquisite Grinling Gibbons carvings, the plasterwork and the paintings were in need of particular attention, alongside a comprehensive programme of cleaning. The organ will be refurbished as part of the programme of works. Works to stabilise the deteriorated stonework on the east wall and deal with problems of damp were undertaken in 2013.
June and July 2015
Since the last update, members of the Cliveden Conservation team have made great progress in cleaning further sections of plasterwork, much of it on the ceiling. This is painstaking work. A poultice is applied to small areas of plaster, which is then covered and left in place for 24 hours during which time the process of drawing out dirt and mould begins. The poultice is carefully chipped off and the section of revealed plaster is then cleaned by hand. This cleaning is revealing a depth of expression previously unseen on the faces of the putti in particular.
Further tests have been carried out on the ceiling painting and it appears that the painted roundels may be the work of Berchet’s assistants, rather than by the master himself. A recommendation about the level of cleaning which the painting needs, is expected shortly.
Most of Grinling Gibbons’ carvings from the reredos have been taken to Alan Lamb’s workshop near Northampton, where cleaning and repair are underway. The most fragile pieces, which cannot be moved in their current state, will be given initial treatment on-site before being taken to the workshop.
The organ has been removed in stages with the final sections taken out in the middle of July.
In Hanborough, the college carpenter is working on the pews, while in the chapel, footings to support the pews are being built.
Update Three – posted 23 July 2015