Gilded arch soon to begin conservation


Our conservators are soon to begin working on the proscenium arch in the Painted Hall – which you helped support during our crowdfunding project last year. Why not come and see their progress on a Painted Hall Ceiling Tour?

Since September 2016, we’ve constructed an 80-tonne scaffold in the Painted Hall and completed work in the vestibule dome. Our conservators are soon to move into the lower hall, where, as well as the gilded proscenium arch, the magnificent painted ceiling displays over 200 allegorical figures surrounding the portraits of King William III and Queen Mary II. The arch will be the first area of this space to be conserved.

You can see our progress by taking a Painted Hall Ceiling Tour. Don a hard hat and follow an expert guide up to the 60-foot high observation deck to see the Painted Hall from just feet away. Lasting 50 minutes, the tours allow the public to see details invisible from the ground, the state of the Painted Hall ceiling before conservation work is made, and a closer look at Robert Jones’ carving of Mars and Minerva, that sits atop the gilded arch.

Whilst running the tours, we’ve made some fascinating discoveries about this coat of arms. Conservators have found that much of the gilding is original, surviving from the arch’s creation. We also found a pot of varnish hidden away behind Minerva, left from the last conservation project in the 1950/60s.

The Painted Hall Project will conserve the paintings for half a century, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this masterpiece up close! Find out more and book at – and remember National Art Pass holders get 50% off.

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