Latest news and updates on the restoration project

Weeding in the garden on Friday 21st July 2017
A clear path following a morning weeding
Volunteers did an amazing job clearing the pathway!

Tidying up the garden

Volunteers spent Friday morning clearing away the weeds from the pathway in the cottage’s garden.

Please see our volunteer page for opportunities to come and help out on the project.

Wallpaper found in cottage’s roof

Fragments of wallpaper that look to pre-date Mrs Smith have been discovered in the roof of Mrs Smith’s Cottage.

In the first phase of works on site in Navenby, scaffolding has gone up and roof tiles have been removed to expose the timbers to a proper inspection. It was during this that pieces of wallpaper were unexpectedly discovered between the current ceilings and the rafters.

Students from the University of Lincoln’s School of History and Heritage are assisting in the restoration and will be making sure the wallpaper is carefully preserved and researched.  They have also been taking samples from the interior wallpaper; with a number of cavities in the building it will be interesting to see what’s lurking within them.  Rolls of paper kept in a chest by Mrs Smith will help to inform this part of the project.  Councillor Richard Wright, Leader of NKDC, said: “When the roof tiles were removed at Mrs Smith’s Cottage we didn’t expect to find small pieces of wallpaper in there.  “It’s an exciting discovery and we are really pleased that the University of Lincoln is helping to preserve them as well as find out when they will have been put in place.”  He added: “Mrs Smith’s Cottage is an important part of the heritage of the area and it needs to be carefully restored so that future generations can get an insight into what life was like in years gone by.”  Paul Croft, Research Fellow from the University’s School of History and Heritage, said: “With Navenby just a few miles south of the University this is very much a local project and a great opportunity for the students to get hands-on conservation experience.  “The wallpapers removed from Mrs Smith’s Cottage are typical of those used in more functional buildings and are usually overlooked, but combined with archival and paint research they help us to build a picture of the interior decorative appearance of this unique cottage and the way in which tastes and fashions have evolved.”  Last year, North Kesteven District Council successfully secured money from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the largest heritage funder in the UK, to help bring the Navenby tourist attraction back into use.  It is anticipated that the restoration, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, will continue for the next three years, with a re-opening in 2019.


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