‘Twas the month before Christmas, when all through the castle, not a creature was stirring… except for our Collections Team, who are spending the off-season conducting important collections work! 

Rebecca, our Collections Intern from Durham University, was busy cataloguing items in the nooks and crannies of the Small Drawing Room, when she made this exciting festive discovery.


Nutcracker dolls originate from late 17th century Germany, and were often given as gifts. This Bavarian nutcracker was from the time of the 9th Lord Barnard, and carries the inscription ‘Lord Barnard, 1909.’ The interesting character was found with a broken jaw, which provided the perfect opportunity for Davina, currently undertaking a Conservation Placement from Durham University, to work her magic.

After cleaning off the years of dust, she used historically sympathetic solvents and adhesives to return the cheeky chap to his original form. Our collections team then photographed and catalogued him for future use, before returning him to the safety of his original storage place.

(collections image for cataloguing)

If you’d like to find out more about our Castle collections visit the blog.

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