Winter conservation at Baddesley Clinton

Visitors looking out of the window

Over the winter months at Baddesley the conservation team have been hard at work carrying out the deep clean of the house but this task doesn’t just happen after the clocks go back...

The deep cleaning programme was historically carried out during the winter months when the house was closed and ‘put to bed’ and many National Trust properties still do this if they still have a closed period. Baddesley is now open 363 days a year so a new method needed to be devised to ensure that the house still received its yearly deep clean but meant that we could open Baddesley’s doors to visitors almost every day of the year.

One of our conservation assistants carrying out the deep clean
One of our conservation assistants carrying out the deep clean
One of our conservation assistants carrying out the deep clean

The deep cleaning is now carried out in the morning before we open and the conservation team sometimes carry on for a couple of hours after opening. We call this ‘conservation in action’ and it’s a great way for visitors to see first-hand how we clean Baddesley’s collection and what’s involved in caring for a historic house.

" Conservation in action is a great way of demonstrating to our visitors what the conservation team traditionally did behind the scenes. It also means that visitors can see how their support, whether it be through membership or simply by buying a scone in the restaurant, is allowing us to keep Baddesley going for future generations to enjoy."
- Robyn Boffey, Assistant Conservation and Engagement Manager


For the deep clean we take a room at a time and literally go from ceiling to floor cleaning and inspecting everything. Cleaning generally involves the team using sections of specific brushes to remove the dust from items with a vacuum to collect the dust. The inspection is very thorough, looking at all angles and all layers where possible and checking for damage. This could include cracks, splits, wear and tear, fading, mould and pests.

This beautiful toy chest is tucked away in the Sacristy
Nineteenth century toy chest
This beautiful toy chest is tucked away in the Sacristy

We are also having UV Perspex fitted over our remaining windows to prevent the UV coming through and damaging the collection; textiles and watercolours are particularly susceptible to light damage. The light that now comes through the Perspex will still cause damage but at a slower rate and we have sun blinds to help lower the light levels to protect the collection. 

The stained glass panel was made for Henry Ferrers the Antiquary to commemorate his marriage to Jane White in 1582
Stained glass heraldic panel in a window in the drawing room at Baddesley Clinton
The stained glass panel was made for Henry Ferrers the Antiquary to commemorate his marriage to Jane White in 1582