A graduate and her castle
06 August 2012
Not many graduates can count in their daily duties checking ancient brickwork for signs of deterioration, clearing moss, managing guided tours and customer services, and ensuring their castle is in top form.
That's exactly what LJMU History of Art graduate, Rebecca Leary does each and every working day as Historic Properties' Steward for English Heritage at Kirby Muxlow Castle in Leicestershire.
Kirby Muxloe is a 15th Century castle and moat built by Lord Hastings, the original owner of Ashby de la Zouch Castle, but was never completed due to his execution. All that is left inside the moat are two guardrooms, the west tower and an outer wall.
Rebecca's role is important to help maintain Kirby Muxloe as a popular venue for daily visitors and events. Recently Kirby Muxloe was part of a series of archaeology events arranged by Leicester County Council is arranging across Leicestershire, which involved special historical guided tours with four actors, playing Lord Hastings and his guards.
While studying for her History of Art degree, Rebecca wrote her dissertation on 'Saratoga Trunk Corsets 1870-80', based on a few objects within the museum collection at Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood.
Rebecca has always been passionate about historic costumes and she undertook an internship during her second year at Sudbury Hall. The internship became an on-going volunteering role as a House and Collections Volunteer, introducing her to conservation work. During this time, Rebecca was awarded the Highly Commended Award for Care and Development of a Collection for Sudbury Hall
"My dream is to work with historic costumes, but I am finding myself falling in love with daily conservation work, whether it is the building structure or one of the many items within the Hall or museum. I guess I am proof of what can happen if you keep on volunteering, or build on your internship and remain persistent."
Visit http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/history-of-art to read about the course.
Further information about Kirby Muxloe is available at: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/kirby-muxloe-castle/
Pictured (above left): Image of Kirby Muxloe Castle courtesy of English Heritage