Hello and welcome to my new history blog. If we haven’t already met, my name is Rachel. I’m a historian, conservator, heritage advisor and writer, dedicated to preserving historic sites and telling their stories. I love history, visiting historic churches and museums and taking photos.
I have decided to create a blog to share all of my exciting explorations with you! (This is mainly because the captions on my Instagram posts have been getting longer and longer!) You’ll be seeing posts about church architecture, stained glass, museum visits and conservation projects. I hope to inspire more historical trips by sharing my own experiences. I will also share ideas for places to visit and things to look out for.
Having worked in heritage for about 7 years I have quite a bit of professional experience behind me. I have worked for National Trust and small, local museums cleaning historic objects and curating exhibitions. I am qualified in stained glass conservation and have worked on a few freelance commissions as well. At the moment I work for The Churches Conservation Trust as a project-specific Heritage Advisor. I work with churches and their communities to help them find solutions to the problems that bats cause in churches.
To help you get to know me, here are a couple of examples of interesting projects I have worked on:
Here I am working on a 1330s stained glass panel from the church of St Peter in Barton-upon Humber. Due to its age, the panel had suffered from some damage, and it was covered with dirt, corrosion and paint flecks. It even had a great big sticker in the bottom left corner! I gently cleaned it, secured the cracks in the glass and restored the broken lead. Happily I managed to save all of the original materials.
The collection of coins pictured above was donated to Much Hadham Forge museum in 2018. I spent the summer cleaning and polishing them. This project was very rewarding because I was able to unveil minute details that had previously been obscured by dirt. These details included dates and monarchs’ faces, which really helped to put the coins in historical context.
I spent several months on a scaffold painstakingly cleaning historical glass quarries at St Mary’s church in Fotheringhay. Close inspection showed that this glass was full of colour, signatures and corrosion that made it far from ‘plain’. It was a joy to work on.
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Anyway, enough about me, what about you? Get in touch! Tell me what you love about historic places and where you like to visit. What are your favourite museums? Favourite periods of history? Favourite foods? Anything, I’m always here for a chat.