Boughton House embarks on Europe’s largest private ceiling restoration project

"We are thrilled to be undertaking this momentous restoration project”
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The Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust (BLHT) is proud to announce the ongoing restoration of nine magnificent ceilings at Boughton House.

The ambitious 10-year project, undertaken in collaboration with Perry Lithgow Ltd, the renowned mural conservation firm, is set to become the largest privately-funded endeavour of its kind in Europe.

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Boughton House, an architectural gem with a rich history, has long been admired for its breathtaking ceilings painted by Louis Chéron, a celebrated French history painter and book illustrator.

One of the restored paintings from the First State Room at Boughton HouseOne of the restored paintings from the First State Room at Boughton House
One of the restored paintings from the First State Room at Boughton House

Eight of the nine ceilings being restored are confirmed to be the work of Chéron, making them the only known surviving paintings by the artist in the country.

The restoration project aims to conserve and clean these artistic treasures, revealing their original splendour for generations to come.

Using cutting-edge 21st century techniques and materials, the experts at Perry Lithgow are removing layers of dirt, yellowing varnishes, and old re-painting that have accumulated over centuries.

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The painstaking process allows for the recovery of the original painted schemes, which are then retouched where necessary and protected with reversible pigments and varnishes.

Scott Macdonald, head of collections and conservation for the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust, expressed excitement about the project.

Scott said: "We are thrilled to be undertaking this momentous restoration project at Boughton House.

"These extraordinary ceilings, created by Louis Chéron, are rare examples of Baroque art in Britain, depicting captivating mythological scenes from the works of Homer and Ovid.

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"Through this restoration, we aim to revive the vibrancy, colour, and drama of Chéron's masterpieces and preserve them for future generations to enjoy."

The project has already seen the successful restoration of the First State Room, featuring the mural "Venus interceding for Aeneas," and the Fourth State Room, with the painting "Jupiter restraining Arcas from shooting the bear."

Additionally, the Little Hall, housing "The return of Proserpine," and the Painted Staircase, featuring "Mercury holding the Golden Apple," has also undergone restoration.

The painstaking process of conserving and restoring these ceilings requires careful attention to detail and adherence to the highest conservation standards. Each room holds a unique story and represents an important part of Boughton House's heritage.

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Visitors can now witness the splendour of the restored ceilings by private appointment throughout the year or during the following designated dates:

  • Monday, July 31st, to Tuesday, August 1st
  • Friday, August 4th, to Tuesday, August 8th
  • Friday, August 11th, to Tuesday, August 15th
  • Friday, August 18th, to Tuesday, August 22nd
  • Friday, August 25th, to Tuesday, August 29th
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