The Prince of Wales visited Houghton recently to see students at Cliveden Conservation using their skills thanks to an apprenticeship scheme.
The students are from the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community’s Building Craft scheme.
He met Christian Accolla and Daniel Iannone using their stonemasonry skills and helping restore a historic mosaic.
As part of their placement with Cliveden Conservation the students have been working on a number of heritage projects in a workshop environment and onsite.
Over the past four weeks, the students have been involved in the preparation process of carefully removing the mosaic, which is thought to be from the redecoration performed by Sir Charles Allom in the 1930’s, from Stanford Hall to be restored at the workshop.
This work is part of the estate’s transformation into the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre. The students have been making substrates, including cement and lime mortars, ready for creating the new panels and fitting on site.
Lewis Proudfoot, stone section manager at Cliveden Conservation, and alumnus of the Building Craft Apprenticeship scheme said: “We were honoured that His Royal Highness visited our Norfolk workshop to see the students learning new skills.
“Every year we support the Prince’s Foundation by giving students apprenticeship placements and the opportunity to work with our skilled craftsmen.
“The scheme allows the students to work with some of the UK’s best heritage companies on prestigious projects – giving them invaluable experience for their careers ahead.”
Cliveden Conservation and representatives from the National Trust spoke to the Prince about recent projects.
He heard about award winning restored 18th century Gothic Tower at Wimpole, the replication of St Pauls Walden Bury statues for Stowe School and restoration of the Nicolas Stone 17th-century Hillingdon Venus for Cranford Park.
Simon Sadinsky, head of education at the foundation said: “Schemes like this are helping to keep this sector alive, and attractive to new talent, not to mention securing the future of these traditional crafts.”