Conservation in the castle

Conservation in action at Croft Castle

Delve behind the scenes and discover what our conservation team get up to in order to preserve the historic, and often fragile, collection in our care.

On Wednesday afternoons, our conservation team will be undertaking a number of projects around the castle. Some of these will be in front of the public where possible, so you might see the work in action and get a closer look at some of the precious objects in our collection.

One of the more difficult tasks is cleaning the chandeliers. This is an incredibly intricate task to complete, primarily because the chandeliers are so delicate and fragile. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. The team start by taking down the individual droplets from the chandelier.
  2. They are then wet cleaned using cotton wool and a drop of conservation grade detergent mixed in de-ionised water.
  3. After the soap rinse they have a second rinse in pure de-ionised water and are then patted down with paper towel.
  4. They are then re-hung, hopefully in the order they came down in!

This is a very meticulous job and needs patience and attention to detail, but one our Senior House Steward also finds strangely therapeutic.

Cleaning the chandeliers is a meticulous and intricate job
A volunteer looks at a chandelier
Cleaning the chandeliers is a meticulous and intricate job

The team are also going to be opening up cases that contain ceramics to clean them, and carrying out a full room by room inventory of the castle. Every object in the castle should have a condition report which tells us how the piece is put together, notes any areas of damage and allows us to monitor and update its condition every year. The team will be updating these and making sure our records are complete.

Keep checking our website for further updates on our conservation projects or ask one of the team when you next visit.