Winter cleaning at Cragside house

Alex and Philip give Cragside house a deep clean over the winter period © National Trust/ Rosie Danagher

Alex and Philip give Cragside house a deep clean over the winter period

Latest update 03.11.2014 17:08

Staff at Cragside are currently working around the clock to put the house into hibernation for the winter.

Whilst the doors are closed over the winter period, staff and an army of volunteers will be cleaning and restoring the collection, to ensure the ground floor of the house is ready in time for opening, with free entry, for February half term.

Delicate brushing, cleaning and dusting are all part of a meticulous and thorough routine and in order to give the collection the deep clean it needs, this can only be done whilst the house is closed over winter.

One of these jobs involves the annual task of book cleaning. With over 8,000 books on display, each individual book is removed from the bookshelves, opened up and brushed down to remove the dust into a specialist vacuum, sometimes taking weeks to complete.

Felicity Wheeler, Cragside Collections Supervisor said:
“We’re tasked with the delicate care of conserving our wonderful collection, so great lengths are taken in order to get the rooms open and ready for our visitors. With approximately 17,000+ objects in the collection, this is a very busy period for us.”

Due to the huge demands of conserving and cleaning, the ground floor of the house will only be open to the public during half term, giving the staff time to put the finishing touches to the upper rooms, when it fully opens for the season on Tuesday 24 February.

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