Building conservation

We protect historic buildings and buildings in the wider landscape. Our building conservation team works hard to ensure they are preserved for ever, for everyone using traditional conservation techniques

Farm buildings at Townend
Visitors in the Saloon at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Welcoming you back to the houses in our care  

This week, we're opening seven houses in England and Northern Ireland as part of a pilot to welcome back visitors to the houses and buildings we care for. In our latest blog, John Orna-Ornstein, our Director of Culture and Engagement discusses some of the unique and surprising challenges we're facing to reopen these houses again.

Our biggest conservation challenges

Close view of part of carved armchair, late 18th century, giltwood and gesso, from the Drawing Room at Ickworth

Conservation tips on how to deal with insect pests 

Insects are essential to our ecosystem, indoors and out, but they’re not so welcome when flying out of wardrobes or eating your favourite woolly jumper or carpet! What can you do? Hilary Jarvis, one of the National Trust’s Assistant Preventive Conservators, shares some tips based on the latest findings and methods used in our historic houses to protect our collections, and reveals the most common pests of 2019.

Conservation in action during the winter clean

Protect the buildings and collections in our care 

We're committed to protecting and preserving our nation’s great houses and other historical buildings, as well as the arts and collections in our care. Give today and together, we can ensure our shared history continues to inspire us all.

Detail of the ceiling of the Drawing Room at Attingham Park, Shropshire

A brief history of paint at our places 

Past owners of country houses have had an enormous influence on historic interiors by indulging their passion for the latest fashion or covering an existing decorative scheme because it was too garish for their taste. Paintings Conservation Adviser Christine Sitwell takes a look at four different National Trust places to tell the story of wall paint through the ages.

Preserving history

Conservator Carmen Vida cleaning a decorative set of Flight, Barr & Barr porcelain from the Ballroom.

Meet the conservators

Hard at work in the conservation studio at Knole is a team of six dedicated conservators, tasked with preserving the ornate collection for years to come. Specialising in everything from paper and paintings to furniture and frames, the team can be seen in the studio every week from Wednesday to Saturday.

Conservation carpet rolling

Experience a working holiday 

Get involved behind the scenes with a working holiday at one of our historic houses. Cross the red rope and help with a special event, learn how to prepare a house for winter, or discover how we care for our collections.

Walking in autumn sun at Fountains Abbey

The National Trust and the Hague Convention 

In 2017 the UK government ratified the 1954 Hague Convention – an agreement that aims to safeguard our cultural property in times of conflict, and ensure UK forces overseas respect the heritage of other cultures. Find out what this means for the places we look after.

Conservators Judy Wetherall and Pete Jenkins retouching one of eight gilded sconces in the new Conservation Studio

Faded magnificence: Rescuing Knole and its collections from decay 

Discover more about our work to save Knole in Kent from centuries of damp and decay. Curator Emma Slocombe explores the project as its state-of-the-art Conservation Studio opens to the public.


Learn more about how we look after for the special places in our care and get a glimpse of some of the conservation projects we're working on at the moment.