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Boston Manor House

Restoration of the 18th century wallpaper at Boston Manor House

Boston Manor was once the site of a medieval estate, later owned in the 16th century by Sir Thomas Gresham. In 1623, the site was inherited by Lady Mary Reade who built the core of the current house. In 1670 the house and estate were sold to James Clitherow, who altered and extended it. The house remained with the Clitherow family until 1924 when it was sold to Brentford Urban District Council (and is now owned by Hounslow Council).

The upper landing walls are still covered with a very rare example of 18th century classical ruins wallpaper - unparalleled elsewhere on this scale and no identical copies are known. It dates from c. 1757 and includes a neo-classical sphinx on a pedestal in front of an obelisk amid ruined temples. The paper is linen rag-based and printed and glued straight to the wall. Before restoration, it was in relatively poor condition, with the whole west wall missing, and breakages and tears where it had survived.

HOLT funded the conservation of this rare wallpaper in 2022 with support from Knight Frank. This included surface cleaning, consolidation of the pigment, repair and removal of fragile sections to the workshop for detailed scans and treatment.

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