Hi-tech answer to protect history

PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:23 24 May 2010

Les Stanley outside King John's Hunting Lodge.

Les Stanley outside King John's Hunting Lodge.

AN ANCIENT museum has gone hi-tech by installing state-of-the-art equipment to help keep its artefacts safe. Tiny sensors have been installed at King John's Hunting Lodge in Axbridge to pick up environmental conditions on each floor of the leaning 16th ce

AN ANCIENT museum has gone hi-tech by installing state-of-the-art equipment to help keep its artefacts safe.Tiny sensors have been installed at King John's Hunting Lodge in Axbridge to pick up environmental conditions on each floor of the leaning 16th century building.The museum suffers from humidity problems and has had to send its large but crumbling collection of charters, seals and other documents to the county museum in Taunton for proper storage.Readings from the sensors will be used to support a £50,000 lottery bid the museum charity plans to submit.The charity plans to spend the money on environmentally controlled display cases to better preserve its collection of skeletons, wooden exhibits and other artefacts, as well as improving the lighting.The pen-sized sensors were set up by museum trustee Les Stanley. Les has also become IT, or 'insect trap' manager, since installing a series of chemical pest snares.He said: "There are a whole host of critters that could affect artefacts, like moths and bookworms, but so far we've only caught a couple of spiders."The new sensors have shown that, when it is very cold, you approach conditions which will start to affect the life of the artefacts."The lottery is quite keen on heritage, we are a charity and we get lots of children coming to the museum, so we cover lots of lottery requirements. All we've got to do is justify a large grant for the cases, which will be helped by the sensor readings.

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