It’s easy to take for granted, but Feathers Gate has been welcoming guests to Cliveden since the 19th century. The gates used to stand slightly west of their current home but were finally brought to this spot after 1901 and have stood tall here ever since; a beautifully grand greeting for those who came to call. What a magnificent entrance William Waldorf Astor envisioned. We need to make sure we’re doing him justice by keeping the gates in a good state of repair.
The conservation process
Our volunteers are absolutely invaluable and their help here is sorely needed. As part of this project the statue cleaning team have been tasked with cleaning the two large stone urns that sit on top of the main gate piers. This protects the stone against further decay, making sure this grand entrance is preserved for future generations to experience and enjoy. Feathers Gate provides a tangible link to the Astor period here at Cliveden and it’s our duty and privilege to protect and care for it.
What work are we doing?
Although the gates are structurally sound, the ironwork and some areas of masonry are showing signs of decay.
We’ll be using traditional techniques to replace failed mortar, clean, carry out conservation repair and bring the intricate ironwork back to its best.
If you pop up to the Gas Yard (near the Information Centre and the main car park) you may see some of our contractors carefully working on the two huge gate leaves. Why not go and see how they’re getting on?
We really couldn’t do this without your support. Every visit you make, every keepsake you buy, every slice of cake you enjoy — it helps us carry out projects like this. So really, it’s important we thank you for conserving Feathers Gate and keeping special places like Cliveden magical.
This sort of maintenance is a core part of the National Trust’s conservation purpose and it’s a fascinating, delicate process. On your next visit, talk to one of the team and ask them for a live update on the works, they’d be very happy to explain.