Thanks to donations, another stage is completed in the restoration of a very special historic building in Worcestershire, set within the majestic ‘Capability’ Brown parkland at Croome.

But it's been something of a detective job to strip away layers and time and arrive at the original paint scheme.

The Rotunda, once used by the 6th Earl of Coventry as a garden room sheltered by ancient cedar trees, has far reaching views to the Malvern Hills.

The Grade 1 listed building was built by Brown in the 1750s has ornate plasterwork created by Francesco Vassali. It came under the care of the National Trust in 2007 when they took on the management of Croome Court.

But almost immediately urgent repairs were needed to save the building from further damage.

Contractors removed the damaged outer dome and completely repaired it to prevent further weather damage; the floor was taken up and re-laid, and later extensive repairs were carried out on the plasterwork.

“Until very recently the plasterwork repairs have been clearly visible with circles of new plaster showing up all over the walls,” said Katherine Alker, Croome’s Garden and Outdoors Manager.

“However I’m delighted to say that the redecoration of the Rotunda has recently been completed and the results are stunning. We’ve been able to carry out the work due to two generous individuals; one private donor, and one through a legacy. It’s so good to see its interior painted in its original 18th century colours and restored to the grand building that Brown intended it to be.”

Experts carried out paint analysis and it was found that there had been several paint colour schemes over the centuries, including at one point blue walls with white plasterwork detail. The original colours were an off-white ceiling dome and grey walls, so it was decided to use that colour.

The paint used is an organic ‘casein distemper’; a chalky paint which has been applied in thin layers to create a ‘dead flat’ finish. The ceilings and walls had a good clean then the paint was applied. The dome has had three coats of off-white distemper. The walls have had two coats of ‘Pavilion Grey’, followed by one coat of ‘Lamp Room Grey’ which was ‘lightly dragged’ on. The 3-D plasterwork decoration is clearly visible with light and shadow making the details stand out. The window frames and other woodwork have also been painted in ‘Pavilion Grey’.

“We have worked for the National Trust since 1950 and would often work behind the scenes at the properties,” said Paul Knibb, of George Knibb & Son, who works with his son Tim.

“It’s been great for visitors to be able to see the transformation of the Rotunda’s interior as we work. We’ve really enjoyed chatting to visitors and answering their questions about what we are doing.”

The next phase of the Rotunda’s restoration will be to investigate the steps around the building which are very uneven in places, "with a view to full repair when funds allow".