The Conservation Department are always open to working with colleagues across Norfolk County Council. This month the Conservation Department have teamed up with the Adult Learning team based at Wensum Lodge, who are developing an ambitious new model for Wensum Lodge to become an outstanding regional creative business incubator, creative and community hub and centre of craft excellence in the East.

Within the Wensum Lodge complex sits The Music House. Parts of the house date back to the 12th century and it is thought to be the oldest residential property in Norwich. During the twentieth century the interior of the Music House was divided into many rooms on the various levels within the building. These rooms are currently used for teaching and meetings.

The Music House, King Street, Norwich


The Music House as seen from inside the Wensum Lodge site

Conservation were asked to provide equipment to monitor the environmental conditions within the Music House. Four thermo-hydrographs have been installed in the building.

A thermo-hydrograph

The four thermo-hydrographs have been placed in rooms with very different environmental conditions: the theatre, the Paston room, the Conesford room and an administration office. The equipment has been placed in safe locations away from draughts and direct sunlight. They will provide continuous graphed readings of the temperature and the relative humidity. Historic collections are affected by certain environments that increase the rate of their deterioration, and therefore any heritage organisation considering moving into the Music House will want to know what the ambient environment is like.

Lucy installing a thermo-hydrograph in the Conesford Room

This will allow Lucy Wheeler, the Wensum Lodge Development Officer, to measure the environmental conditions within the rooms for the next twelve months. The data gathered will inform the decision-making process regarding the future architectural refit for the Music House.

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