Our beautiful Victorian roof is a masterpiece of wrought and cast iron topped with 8,500 glass tiles. It’s one of the first things our visitors notice when they enter the Museum, and its leaks are the reason we’re closed this year. But what many people don’t notice is that the glass is supported by decorated wooden struts, painted with bright geometric patterns, and contrasting surprisingly with the organic Gothic detail of the rest of the building.
Whilst the construction team from Beard were up in amongst the rafters last week, they spotted a surprising addition to the paint work. Hidden high up, and out of sight of even the most observant of visitors, was a message from the past. The roof decorators had left their names and the date of their work painted onto the woodwork for future generations to discover.
The message reads “This roof was painted by G. Thicke and J Randall, April 1864”. In general, we don’t approve of graffiti inside the Museum, but this discovery felt pretty special. Well done Randall and Thicke, you did a great job!
Rachel Parle, Education Officer