The State Bedroom at Clandon Park, pictured before the fire
She continued: “Ever since, the safe removal of this wonderful object from the house has been one of our most pressing goals.
“It’s been agonising waiting for the State Bedroom to be made safe and to be cleared, but now we’ve achieved our aim of rescuing the bed from the rubble.”
The Clandon state bed, and a suite of chairs and window curtains to match, was made around 1710.
The remains of the State Bed were laid out in the Marble Hall for inspection
With highly worked silk embroidery, the bed would have been enormously costly and the most expensive object in the house.
The bed represented the high status of the Onslow family and acted as a reminder of their royal connections.
According to the National Trust, the room was piled eight foot deep in timber and rubble following the fire making recovery “extraordinarily difficult”.
Painstaking restoration and conservation work is ongoing
Ms Chessum said: “Walking round with a fireman the next morning I couldn’t have been more surprised to see the state bed still standing amongst the fallen timbers and charred panelling.
“Damaged and in some places badly damaged, but surviving, which is remarkable. We’ve been anxious to reach it ever since that morning, but it just hasn’t been possible until now.
“Clearance at high level was the first priority so that the archaeologists could work safely to remove the debris.”
Added Ms Chessum: “As they gradually cleared the room, we could get closer and closer to assess the bed and then work together to plan its removal.”
When the day came, the team began to dismantle the bed, including the bed’s bare frame, made 300 years ago, which came apart exactly as designed.
However, the most difficult task was removing the bed’s enormous headboard, which took everyone on the team to lift it to safety.
It is hoped once the bed had dried fully, it can be treated and restored
Ms Chessum said: “This very special bed is now laid out in a large, well ventilated space. Once dry we can assess the condition of each piece alongside specialist furniture and textile conservators.
“The challenge will then be to decide on the most appropriate treatment so we can begin to plan a future for the bed.
“It’s an enormous relief and a great joy to have successfully retrieved this iconic part of Clandon Park’s history and, combined with the perfectly restored set of curtains saved on the night of the fire, we’re tremendously hopeful for its future reinstatement.”