OPP Day 19 – Final Day

I cannot believe that today was our final day of the Open Palace Programme! Luckily, I feel as though three weeks has been a perfect amount of time. To summarize, here are my top five experiences in no particular order.

  • Behind-the-scenes at Kensington Palace

Having the opportunity to see the textile collection at Kensington Palace was probably my overall highlight of the trip. Not only were we able to closely inspect three garments, but also, see the storage room. I made sure to note down specifics such as the design of the storage box labels and how the textiles are being conserved. Continue reading “OPP Day 19 – Final Day”

OPP Day 18 – Fulham Palace and Apsley House

Today was our final day of sessions for the Open Palace Programme! I will be writing a reflection of the entire program tomorrow so I will leave my final thoughts for then. This post will cover two sites – Fulham Palace and Apsley House. The former being the home of the Bishops of London until 1945 and the latter, home of the Duke of Wellington. At both sites we focused on interpretation techniques. I will be writing more on the activities than on the history of the sites. This is mainly because they are among the best we have experienced on the program. Continue reading “OPP Day 18 – Fulham Palace and Apsley House”

OPP Day 17 – British Museum

I want to start this post a little differently to what I have done before. This is mainly because the first two hours of our time at the British Museum was spent enjoying being visitors and noting the forms of interpretation evident in the Enlightenment Gallery. Although containing fantastic objects and a wealth of information, topics such as colonization etc were not mentioned which I found quite odd. The following are my Top Five objects in the Enlightenment Gallery! Continue reading “OPP Day 17 – British Museum”

OPP Day 16 – Hampton Court Palace

To prepare for this program, I enrolled in the online Future Learn – A History of Royal Food and Feasting course. The course was organized by Historic Royal Palaces alongside the University of Reading. It was a really wonderful introduction to food and royalty. Hampton Court featured quite significantly in the lectures so I was very prepared for a day at the Palace exploring and listening to the experts. We had three sessions that focused on conservation and curatorial practices. The morning was dedicated to learning about preventative and treatment conservation from Kathryn Hallett and Mika Takami. I do have more of an interest in preventative conservation having had amazing mentors, Monica Cronin, Virginia Gordon, and Kate Childlow, introduce me to some of the basics.

Continue reading “OPP Day 16 – Hampton Court Palace”

OPP Day 15 – Tower of London and Kensington Palace

Our morning began with a brief visit to the Tower of London. Here we met building conservator Alden Gregory who took us behind the scenes in the Byward Tower. The Tower was originally built as the third gate of defence on the outer wall in the 13th century. Today, the two levels of the tower are not open to the public. This is because the head Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) lives on the top floor and the middle floor contains a medieval mural in need of constant monitoring and preventative conservation.
We had the opportunity to explore the middle floor and point out important historical features and conservation efforts. We noted that there were curtains in the room blocking out natural light and humidity monitors to ensure favourable environmental conditions. After thirty minutes we headed to the learning centre to hear a lecture on the history of the Tower of London and of the Byward Tower mural/room.

Continue reading “OPP Day 15 – Tower of London and Kensington Palace”

OPP Day 14 – Bletchley Park

I was just notified this morning that yesterday’s blog post on the Tower of London was my 100th entry! Thank you to everyone who is reading for your support. I will endeavour to post 100 more and continue documenting everything museum/heritage in my life.

My post for today is on the amazing Bletchley Park located around an hours train ride from central London. I visited the site with four friends who are also on the program. We had a lovely day spending around three hours exploring the museums and wandering around the buildings. The site is pretty massive. There is a welcome centre, which provides a brief context to the site, a museum, the mansion, and five huts. Each offers a slightly different experience and forms of interpretation. Continue reading “OPP Day 14 – Bletchley Park”

OPP Day 13 – Tower of London

It was so wonderful to catch up with an old friend today and see the magnificent Tower of London! I have been thinking of how to write this blog post and there is just so much in the Tower I know covering everything would be confusing. It is definitely a place you would want to see more than once. Unless, of course, you can read and comprehend masses of information on a range of different topics in one go. I have decided to focus on some personal highlights of the Tower. Continue reading “OPP Day 13 – Tower of London”

OPP Day 12 – Transfer to London

This is more of an update than a blog post. This morning we said our farewells to Stowe and headed straight to London. Reflecting back on our time in Stowe it was wonderful to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and mass tourist destinations. It really did allow us to get to the core of some of the issues we are focusing on in our program. Continue reading “OPP Day 12 – Transfer to London”

OPP Day 8 -Windsor Castle

Today was a pretty intense day. Apart from around five hours of driving around the lower part of England, we stopped at both the Jane Austen House and Windsor Castle. This post will focus solely on Windsor Castle. Here we listened to a talk by one of the Royal Library curators, Elizabeth Clark Ashby. She presented on the new exhibition titled Shakespeare in the Royal Library. It was a fantastic talk that explored so many elements of exhibition design.

Continue reading “OPP Day 8 -Windsor Castle”

British Library

I am currently en route to Bath in a quiet carriage that is anything but quiet. Although the programme doesn’t start until tomorrow night, I wanted a couple of days in Bath to relax beforehand and visit some more museums. Since I have some spare time I thought I’d write a little blog post on the British Library. I visited the library post-Museum of London with the intention of seeing a Punk Music exhibition. It was interesting, but, I really want to write about the Sir John Rittblat Gallery: Treasures of the British Library.

I have to admit I only went into the gallery because I could feel how amazing the air conditioning was inside. It was a hot day so don’t judge. Anyway, I was very glad, well extremely glad, to have walked in because the gallery contains some of the most incredible paper-based objects I have ever seen. If you like music, history, sacred texts, maps, or beautiful art then there is guaranteed to be something in the gallery that gives you goosebumps. Continue reading “British Library”