The winter clean gets underway at Croft Castle

A volunteer holds an historic document up to the light at Croft Castle in Herefordshire

Your support enables us to carry out vital conservation work, which continues throughout the winter months with our annual clean of the castle.

Only a few years ago, many National Trust places shut their doors and closed completely for the winter period; this allowed for historic houses to be 'put to bed' and thorough conservation work would take place behind closed doors.

Now many of our places are open all year round and Croft is no exception. During the winter, the castle remains open on weekends and conservation work therefore takes place during the week.

The house team and their dedicated team of conservation volunteers have been cleaning the house from top to bottom; this takes a great deal of man-power and is very labour intensive.

One of the historic pieces in our care at Croft Castle
A volunteer inspects historic fabric during winter clean at Croft Castle in Herefordshire

One of the biggest tasks is removing the dust that has accumulated during the open season. Dust, though seemingly harmless, can become cemented in place if left and thus becomes a real problem to remove. The team have therefore been thoroughly cleaning pieces of furniture, opening up every compartment and taking a closer look at the condition of such objects for signs of general deterioration.

The conservation team at work
The conservation team at work at Croft Castle in Herefordshire

Our volunteers have also been polishing floors and cleaning rugs, which are vital pieces of work, as thousands of shoes tread over the castle’s floor every year. We’re always looking for ways to make our conservation work more accessible, so keep a look out for our house team as they carry out conservation in action from mid-February onwards, when we're open daily.