Meet Lauren Heron

Wren300 Conservation Intern

Lauren Heron is our Wren300 Conservation Intern working with Cliveden Conservation for six months as part of our project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Lauren’s background is in theatre and music. However, for the past 4 years she has worked as an archaeologist, as an assistant conservator and artefact specialist.

We asked Lauren what it has been like working on the project and the opportunities it has offered her.

How did you find out about the internship?

During my master’s degree in Conservation of Cultural Materials at the University of Melbourne, I stumbled upon the incredible Wren 300 project. The internship seemed a dream come true, as it not only allowed me to delve into my passion for heritage crafts and conservation but also gave me the chance to immerse myself in the architectural wonders of Christopher Wren.

What is your role in the Wren300 Project?

My role at Wren 300 has been diverse, giving me a holistic experience in conservation – from collaboration within different departments at Cliveden (stone, plaster, decorative arts) with hands-on interventions, to project management insight and everything in between. One of my main focuses has been event planning and facilitation of the Wren 300 ‘Conservation in Action’ Programme. Bringing together enthusiastic people for public workshops, demonstrations, and evening lectures, with the aim to promote heritage crafts and make conservation accessible, has been a longstanding interest of mine. Witnessing the enjoyment and inspiration from the public has been a joy.

What are you currently working on?

Overall, the internship has certainly kept me on my toes. This week, the Wren 300 Cliveden Conservation team will present an evening lecture series on stained glass conservation at St Botolph Without Aldgate and in previous weeks I’ve been assisting in the consolidation of an abbey ruin and conducting repairs to a unique folly in Hatfield Forest.

What has been a highlight?

Thanks to the Wren300 project, funded by the National Lottery Fund, I’ve been able to engage with experts in various fields, from master carvers to metal specialists to paintings conservators. Standing atop a 10 metre tower scaffold to come face-to-face with the magnificent St Mary Abchurch painted dome has been a clear highlight.

So what's next? And, what does the future hold?

I’m incredibly grateful for this unforgettable opportunity. This internship has opened my eyes to the intricacies of public engagement and has allowed me to learn conservation skills from the very best in the industry. I feel confident and eager to continue my career in the exciting world of heritage conservation in the UK and Ireland.

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