Vist to Wrest Park, Silsoe, in August


A small group of our members made a visit to the Archaeological Stores of English Heritage at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, in August at the end of the pandemic restrictions.  It was lovely to be able to be together with friends again.

We chose a local site so that we could make it a self-drive visit and it was a lovely day.  The gardens and café were very busy, but our group had exclusive time with a guide to go around the stores.

We met at the Dairy Sculpture Gallery before being taken into the courtyard at the back of the House and then into a vast storage depot.  The artefacts in here are packed from floor to ceiling and we went past a huge variety of man-made items taken from English Heritages properties around the country.

The guide told us about the preservation, storage needs and details of their origins.  We learnt about wooden, metal, paper, fabric, glass and stone artefacts, each fascinating with its story and the designer or craftsman who made it.

Conservation and preservation are vital to keep these artefacts in good condition and inspection of each item is carried out to a very high standard.  The collection of doors alone is quite remarkable!

We were told that the tours are changed on a regular basis, so that different items can be appreciated if you go several times.  This encouraged us to consider another such visit in the future.

Diane Bell

Image above is by Nigel Cox, reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license