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Date completed : 20 December 2019 Duration : 3 Months
Karen Dundas

In 2016, Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT) commissioned Scottish Wall Paintings Conservators to carry out emergency conservation treatment to stabilise and repair the Thomas Bonnar ceiling at Riddle’s Court.

  • Vulnerable painted paper fragments were carefully removed and cleaned to remove debris. Their locations were carefully recorded, then they were labelled and stored for later re-attachment.
  • Damaged plaster was consolidated and, where necessary, carved back to a level surface.
  • Detached lining paper fragments were re-adhered like puzzle pieces.
  • Small losses were inpainted.

Further paper detachment was predicted to occur over the coming years. Indeed, since the building complex re-opened in late 2016 there have been a number of instances when gravity has resulted in occasional hanging paper curls. These new cases are inevitable due to significantly weakened bonds over the entire ceiling, between paper, plaster and paint, as well as within the layers themselves. Fortunately instances of detachment are becoming much less frequent over time. Treatment was last required in December 2019, and the condition of the ceiling continues to be regularly monitored for changes.

Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling
Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court (Royal Mile, Edinburgh) – Thomas Bonnar painted ceiling

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