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The restoration of the great staircase at Rose Castle (part 1)

Commissioned by Bishop Percy, the great staircase was designed and built under the direction of architect Thomas Rickman in 1835. It was made from oak trees felled from around the castle and is highly decorated with the Percy and diocesan arms.

Over time, the timber used to make the staircase has shrunk, spilt and generally become dirty from use and soot from the fire place underneath it. With the shrinkage of the timber, pieces have fallen off, some have been lost and others badly repaired. The most troubling issue however, is that the decorative roses have become unstable.

Our first job is to wash the staircase using alcohol but like the bookcases in the library, we will not be stripping the staircase as we want to keep its age and character. At the same time we are taking note of which pieces are missing and damaged so they can be fabricated back at the workshop.

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