DISASTROUS flooding in a country mansion has unearthed an unlikely secret that may ultimately prove a blessing to restoration hopes.

Kingston Maurward, an estate and college of land-based studies near Dorchester, flooded when a pipe burst in the roof bringing water cascading down into the house’s opulent hall.

Consultants were called in from Historic England to see how much damage had been done.

Much of the house, dating from 1717, needed to be redecorated and refurbished after the flooding and it looked like an expensive job.

But from this deluge of bad news came a glimpse of good luck when Historic England’s consultants realised that the colour in the Grand Hall wasn’t quite right.

The largely pink and blue décor was an imposter from a later time period and originally the room was designed to be white and stone colours to bring out true intricacies of the mouldings and pillars in the extravagant house.

Kingston Maurward College Principal, Clare Davison, said: "This exciting discovery means that what could have been a disaster has actually turned into an opportunity to give the house a much needed facelift, coinciding with prearranged restoration of the Conference Centre which commenced in December and is expected to be finished by the end of the year."

Now a restoration project is set to get underway in Kingston Maurward, a popular Dorset wedding venue.

It will take 12 weeks to restore the ceiling to its former glory, split into two 6 week instalments.

So that brides and grooms to be can enjoy their big day in peace, the restoration project will be put on a break over the summer months.

The goal is to restore the building to its hay-day state, as it looked when it first welcomed King George III in the late 18th Century.


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