Icon Internship: Furniture Conservation

Bainbridge Conservation, in partnership with Icon and support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Dover District Council is offering a one-year furniture conservation internship. The intern will work in Bainbridge Conservation Studios, London and on site at Maison Dieu, Dover.

Bainbridge Conservation


Job type
Icon Internship 


Posted on

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The Maison Dieu in Dover town centre is a building of outstanding significance with an 800-year history. Built around 1203 it originally served as a hospital for pilgrims en route to the shrine of St Thomas Beckett in Canterbury. In the 19th century it was renovated and expanded to provide a courthouse, gaol, seat of government and concert hall. This was the only civic commission by the leading neo-gothic architect William Burges, and the only in-tact building in England that still contains his decorative scheme, furniture and fittings.

The Maison Dieu project, with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is currently in the delivery phase of a programme of capital works to the building, interiors and furnishings. Bainbridge Conservation is conserving the collections, which includes a unique collection of furniture designed by Burgess and Edward Pullan. This work will run alongside a programme of public engagement in Dover’s heritage through its conservation and training and use of volunteers and upskilling staff in the care of the collection. The work will be undertaken both in the London studio and in a ‘pop -up’ studio and store located inside the Maision Dieu. This will allow the public, from passers-by on open days to organised school groups to engage with the building, its collection and care.

Bainbridge Conservation Ltd is practice run by two Icon-accredited conservators, Tristram and Abigail Bainbridge. Recognised as a leader in the field, the studio provides high-level conservation treatments to furniture, architectural wooden interiors, decorative arts, books and library materials with private and institutional clients including English Heritage, National Trust, Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey.

Aims of Internship

The internship aims to provide an emerging conservator of furniture or wooden objects with a year’s experience of working in a busy commercial furniture conservation studio, where much of the time will be spent on the Maison Dieu project. The intern will gain practical experience and knowledge in remedial conservation treatments to furniture and frames, some of which will be nationally significant and complex treatments. In addition the intern will be a key advocate for conservation, engaging with audiences of all ages and backgrounds and help to develop ways to interest and excite as wide and diverse a group as possible.

Other projects and responsibilities will include:

  • Working alongside furniture conservators treating furniture, frames, Asian lacquer and wooden objects.
  • Participate in the day to day running of the conservation studio.
  • Working on conservation treatments on-site in the pop-up studio and store at the Maision Dieu, Dover.
  • Participate in the public engagement activities over the course of the year at the Maison Dieu.
  • These will include working with the engagement officer at Maision Dieu and developing didactical activities.
  • Helping with the creation of training materials for volunteers and participate in volunteer training in collections care.
  • Participate in outreach activities online, including the project website, blog, social and traditional media.

Closing date: 8th November 2021
Interview date: Week commencing 22nd November 2021

Application Documents