In this film, the Victoria and Albert Museum's Head of Metals Conservation, Diana Heath, describes her involvement in the intricate conservation and restoration of the Hereford Screen over a number of years. From her first encounter with the screen in 1983, as its fragments arrived in the conservation studio packed in cases stuffed with straw, to the return of the screen to its former glory when it was installed as a whole object in the Metalwork Galleries above the main entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Diana Heath guides us step-by-step through the restoration process of one of the most significant pieces of nineteenth-century metalwork.


Figure 1.
Diana Heath, Conserving and Restoring the Hereford Screen, video essay, 2017.

Film by Jonathan Law




The V&A is immensely grateful to all of those without whom the restoration of the screen would have been impossible.

The Heritage Lottery Fund financed half the conservation costs. Major donations were made by James and Lucilla Joll, John Scott and Mrs. Corinne Whiteley. Significant donations were made by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, the Iris Foundation, the Headley Trust, the Monument Trust, the Crescent Trust, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and the Pilgrim Trust. Many other trusts and individuals contributed generously.

For other support the Museum thanks Rupert Harris, John Ronayne, Robert Thorne of Alan Baxter Associates and the Victorian Society; Plowden and Smith Ltd (Conservation/Restoration), Purcell Miller Tritton and Partners (Project Management), CJ Design (Lighting), and the V&A team: Marian Campbell (Lead Curator/Project Manager), Eric Turner (Curator), Annette Wickham (Assistant Curator), and Diana Heath (Lead Conservator), along with the individual conservators and specialists who planned and carried out the work.


Cooper, Martin. “Recent Developments in Laser Cleaning”, The Building Conservation Directory, 1997, pp. 122-124.

Plowden and Smith. “Restoration of the Hereford Cathedral Chancel Screen, Manual no 3, Conservation Records of the Treatment of the Object and Techniques Adopted”, unpublished report, April 2001.

Heath, Diana. “The Resurrection of the Hereford Screen”, Conservation Journal, Issue 38, Summer 2001. 



Diana Heath
10 April 2017
One Object
Review status
Peer Reviewed (Editorial Group)
CC BY-NC International 4.0
PDF format
Article DOI
Cite as
Diana Heath, "Conserving and Restoring the Hereford Screen", British Art Studies, Issue 5,