Combermere Abbey, Shropshire
Combermere Abbey received two grants from The Historic Houses Foundation (then Heritage Conservation Trust), between 2011 and 2015, for the cleaning and restoration of important paintings. The earlier one in The Library and the second for the Peter Tillemans bird’s eye view of the Abbey in 1730.
Tilleman’s picture is a treasured record of the house before its gothicisation in the early 19th century. A very important record as the current owners bought it in the sale of the contents of the Abbey in 1919 and was one of only two pieces of furniture acquired from the Combermere family.
During the recent restoration of the North Wing as well as the earlier replacement of the roof over the Library in 1997, it proved to be a very accurate record of the earlier building and of inestimable help to the appropriate repair of the roof. The grant supported its cleaning, re-stretching and some light restoration.
The four paintings in the Library on board/wood and sit above the carved fireplace. Due to disintegration of the original timber frame structure and atmospheric changes three out of the four paintings required cleaning and some restoration. The fourth however had split in two and required much more restoration. The restoration of this extraordinary room was carried out in three phases between 1997 and 2014.