Reconstruction of historical temperature and relative humidity cycles within Knole House, Kent

Wood, J. D., Gauvin, C. , Young, C. R.T. , Taylor, A. C., Balint, D. S. and Charalambides, M. N. (2019) Reconstruction of historical temperature and relative humidity cycles within Knole House, Kent. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 39, pp. 212-220. (doi: 10.1016/j.culher.2019.04.006)

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It is essential for the preservation of cultural heritage that the effects of climate change are investigated. With this in mind, the daily temperature and relative humidity (RH) cycles within the Brown Gallery at Knole House, Kent, have been reconstructed for the period 1605–2015 enabling the study of low-cycle environmental fatigue on a set of seventeenth century panel paintings. By establishing a relationship between the temperature in the Brown Gallery and the Hadley Centre Central England Temperature (HadCET) dataset over a sixteen year period (2000–2015), it is possible to use the full HadCET dataset to obtain the daily minimum and maximum temperatures in the Brown Gallery for the period 1878–2015. Using a Fourier series to fit the periodic data it is then possible to extrapolate back to 1605. Furthermore, correction factors derived using the HadCET average daily temperature in the period 1772–1877 and average monthly temperature in the period 1659–1771 are applied to the temperature data to increase the model accuracy. The daily minimum and maximum RH for the period 1605–2015 are obtained using the Brown Gallery maximum and minimum temperatures respectively, and assuming that the daily dew point temperature at Knole is calculated by subtracting a monthly-dependent constant from the daily minimum temperature at Knole, thus enabling the calculation of the daily actual water vapour pressure of air. Changes in RH are a result of the daily temperature cycle changing the saturation vapour pressure of air in the gallery. This data is valuable as it enables a study of the effects of low-cycle fatigue on the seventeenth century panel paintings housed in the Brown Gallery at Knole House, Kent due to these temperature and relative humidity cycles. Furthermore, the method presented offers a technique that can be utilised to replicate the internal environment for any unheated monument building so that the effects of past and future temperature and humidity cycles on cultural heritage can be examined.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding for this work was provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grant reference EP/P003613/1.
Keywords:Fourier transform, historic environment, Knole House, panel paintings, temperature and relative humidity cycles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Young, Professor Christina and Gauvin, Dr Cecilia
Authors: Wood, J. D., Gauvin, C., Young, C. R.T., Taylor, A. C., Balint, D. S., and Charalambides, M. N.
Subjects:N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Research Group:Technical Art History
Journal Name:Journal of Cultural Heritage
ISSN (Online):1778-3674
Published Online:09 May 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Masson SAS
First Published:First published in Journal of Cultural Heritage 39: 212-220
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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