Here is Angela the amazing upholsterer, who has been working on various upholstery projects at the Castle over the last while, doing more amazing heritage restoration work on one of several antique rocking horses here.
Originally designed to teach children how to ride, this one is very old.
It was in poor repair having been ridden energetically by generations of young Penningtons and their friends. Iona the current Castle owner tells us the horse pictured could accommodate two children on its back, one underneath and one on either end, which (she says) might well explain why it was a bit broken!
Heritage conservation Muncaster Castle
The restoration will use traditional methods and materials wherever possible.
At the moment, having stripped the rocking horse back to its basics, Angela is stabilising the structure of the horse with a mixture based on rabbit skin and bone. This fills and strengthens its cracks and whitens it.
Heritage conservation Muncaster Castle
Even in its stripped-down state, you can see that this rocking horse is beautifully detailed and the horse itself has very fine lines.
These days we’re inclined to consider rocking horses as just children’s toys but at a time when horses were a main means of transportation, they fulfilled a rather more important role as a first step to riding a real horse – a bit like your first driving lessons today.
More news as the restoration continues.
Heritage conservation Muncaster Castle