Conservation for Drayton Hall's Fourth Century
From the raised English basement to the
Soon after the National Trust purchased Drayton Hall from the Drayton family in 1974, they began planning for its preservation. Early efforts
centered on research — trying to understand how Drayton Hall had been constructed and how it had been altered, studying its architectural features
and historical surfaces-in order to prioritize projects over the first few years.
terne metal roof.
During the 1970s and 80s, the Trust's primary goal was to stabilize structures that were in danger of failing and that posed dangers to visitors and staff. To strengthen the floor system in the upper great hall, engineers bolted angle iron on both sides of each joist. To reattach the great hall's cast-plaster ceiling to the lath above, conservators installed a system of mesh and plaster of Paris. The deteriorating metal roof was replaced. An alarm system was added and fire hydrants were installed.
Today's projects are part of a comprehensive preservation plan. As you'll see below, from 2001-2004, five teams of engineers and conservators worked together to protect and preserve Drayton Hall's historic interior surfaces. Today, conservators are beginning a project that will conserve Drayton Hall's exterior surfaces.
Every single one of these projects is made possible thanks to our generous supporters — visitors who pay admissions, foundations, corporations, and members of the Friends of Drayton Hall who hail from across the country and sometimes even across the world.
Great Hall CeilingRe-attaching failing sections of the ceiling. Using GIS mapping to predict future failures. Injecting consolidant into ceiling cracks with giant syringes. It's all part of a preservation project that just received a Best Article award from the Association for Preservation Technology. Discover how the 19th-century ceiling was repaired.
Paint ConservationJust imagine: the last time most of the rooms in Drayton Hall were painted, the Civil War was the recent past. Using a technique typically reserved for furniture and paintings, professional conservators were able to re-adhere flaking paint to Drayton Hall's cypress-paneled walls. Discover how the paint ended up in better condition than it's been in for years.
18th-Century MasonryDrayton Hall's 18th-century masonry: the limestone and sandstone pavers on the portico, the stone lintel that supports the landing for the river-front staircase, the limestone steps leading up to the iconic portico, and the chimney on the only other 18th-century structure still standing at Drayton Hall. Learn more about what we are doing right now to preserve Drayton Hall for years to come.