Adam Moore
Plowden & Smith's exhibitions technician Adam Moore working on one of the musical instrument mounts for the St Cecilia’s Hall project.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The project is the latest for Plowden & Smith which is celebrating 50 years in business this year.

The firm is helping the University of Edinburgh’s £6.5m project to restore, renovate and make accessible St Cecilia’s Hall and its world class collection of musical instruments. The hall was built in 1763 and Plowden & Smith was hired to create mounts to install over 350 instruments ranging from recorders and bassoons to bugles and hurdy-gurdys. The project is due to take until spring next year.  

Plowden & Smith managing director Kevin Smith said of St Cecilia’s Hall project: “This is an interesting project in that it is a working collection. Not only should the display be attractive for the visitor, but the instruments will be accessed for teaching and performance purposes, requiring the mounts to be robust and durable.”

Royal Institution Reception

Plowden & Smith are specialists in conservation, restoration and installation of fine and decorative arts. The firm, which hosted its anniversary reception at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in the autumn, has completed more than 1120 projects this year. It has worked on assignments around the world for clients including museums and trusts.

Smith added: “The current trade situation favours businesses that can offer unique skills. I am confident that the training and extensive experience that we in Britain have within the Art and Heritage industry will continue to be a sought after resource.”

The firm began in 1966 by Smith’s father Peter and the late Anna Plowden who merged their respective firms together to form Plowden & Smith in 1985.