THE oldest carpet from Stourhead House has been sent for conservation work after a complex operation to survey and remove it safely from its home.
National Trust volunteers helped move the 40 to 60-stone Axminster carpet from the house for a nine-month conservation project. The 9.7m x 8.6m carpet was made in the 19th century and was rescued by servants from a fire in 1902 which destroyed the central part of the house.
It was then cut to fit the room’s new layout, with the cut pieces were neatly folded underneath.
The £36,000 restoration project was made possible thanks to £100,000 in funding donated from the People’s Postcode Lottery Awards to the National Trust’s priority collections conservation projects.
Conservators at the Tetley Workshop in Devon will clean the carpet, add support to the damaged areas and restore some of the splits and holes.
All the furniture from the saloon room, including a grand piano, has been put back on the polished floor until the carpet is replaced in November.