Like every old soul, our beautiful Elizabethan house requires some rest and TLC every once in a while. So, throughout the winter months we close our doors to the public and set about refreshing and restoring everything that makes Parham a treasured destination for so many visitors each year.
One of the biggest tasks for the team is ‘putting the house to bed’ by covering all of our precious collections of antiques, furniture and artwork with made-to-measure covers. Each cover has been handmade, some of them out of wartime blackout material that once hung in the windows.
Other general annual maintenance to the house includes hiring upholstery specialists to take down and dry clean the curtains, polishing all of our beautiful antique furniture and taking the needlework down so it can be covered and laid flat to rest.
This winter one of our projects includes the repainting and gilding of The Saloon. Originally a wood store, the room was elegantly remodelled in 1790 by the 12th Lord Zouche and features delicate cream paintwork with gold gilding. The work will be undertaken by specialist decorators to ensure it is restored sensitively back to its original glory.
We are just as busy out in the gardens with the gardening team planning the displays and planting trials for next year and carrying out important restoration and landscaping work. One of the big tasks for this winter is the redesign and planting of the Gold Border. Our Head Gardener, Tom Brown, will be working with successful nursery owner and author Marina Christopher to source unusual late performing perennials that will provide the gardens with an end-of-summer spectacle.