Ellys Manor House conservation

Conserving the ancient wall paintings at Ellys Manor HouseAt Ellys Manor House, we would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has visited the house thus far (in the last seven years), and contributed to our wall paintings appeal. Due to your kindness we have managed to have a section of these important works conserved by Bianca Madden and Claudia Fiocchetti, two of our very finenest conservators in this field of work.

For anyone who does not know of Ellys Manor House and the important late medieval/renaissance domestic wall paintings in the upper rooms, I urge you strongly to visit. The fabulous scheme of early 16th-century domestic wall paintings, described by architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as, ‘a rare English interpretation of French verdure tapestries painted onto the wall’. The wall paintings dated around 1500 are said to be, ‘the most complete, extensive and important domestic decoration of this date in the country’.

The paintings are among the most beautiful of their period in the country. That the paintings survive at all can be seen as miraculous, as in the 1940s, when the house was being used as a rectory, the walls of the house were reported as ‘running with water’, and that puddles were forming on the floor. When the incumbent complained about this to his superiors, no solution to the problem was suggested other than that the Rector instructed his wife to ‘mop up the puddles with a cloth’. Further reading on the wall paintings can be seen on our website; click on the toolbar at the top, where it says wall paintings.

Early this year we embarked on what is and will be a massive task (deciphering the Northern Renaissance). The Renaissance is a story of culture and trade, and in the north, should be talked about with the Hanseatic League. Finally, I would just like to say, EMH is not about the size of the building. The building is without doubt one of the country’s most important historic buildings; it fully encapsulates early modern European and British history, which can be seen in its architectural language. To achieve what we are trying to achieve, we do need help. However, we are not asking you to throw your hard-earned cash at us, especially in these hard times. We are being inspired (using the building’s art and history) to develop quality merchandise and are in the process of building an online shop and seeking other outlets. Thus we are asking for your support, as this, we hope, will be a good way to generate financial resources for the long-term future of this magical building and its important wall paintings.