Restoration work usually throws up some unexpected discoveries, many not so welcome but at Eltham Palace, English Heritage had a surprise when they came to redo the walls of a small study. Eltham Palace's heyday was as a palace for the Plantagenet and Tudor kings - Henry VIII grew up here - but by the 1650s it was already a ruin. The palace had a remarkable renaissance as home to 20th century socialites Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in the 1930s and the Art Deco interior they created is a masterpiece of modern design. A small room off Virginia Courtauld's bedroom, known as the Map Room, had been used by English Heritage as a store. Restoration had revealed 11 maps pasted to the wall but the real discovery was that these maps were part of a previously unknown hand painted decorative scheme covering the whole room. Rather than close the room to the public, English Heritage took the decision to present it to visitors as a 'conservation in action' project. This proved really engaging, helped boost donations for the restoration project and added to the team's body of knowledge about the Courtaulds' life.