Care, Clean and Conserve - Behind the scenes with the house team

A volunteer cleaning a book from the collection

This January, February and March we’re doing a lot of work in the mansion at Greys Court to check and clean the collection. Come to the house to discover conservation techniques, speak to volunteers and staff and have a go at looking after the collection yourself.

Conservation stations

In three of the rooms, a volunteer will be working on a conservation project, which includes ceramic and brass cleaning, checking books for mould, looking for signs of bugs and documenting objects in the inventory. We will also be showing you our collection up close, with textiles shown under a microscope so you can see the impact of wear and tear, and learn about what we do to reduce this impact.

For kids

What kind of things do you think can damage a collection? Pick up a conservation dice from the entrance hallway and find out what the house team has to look out for. 

Book cleaning in the library at Greys Court, Oxfordshire
Lady cleaning a book for conservation purposes in the Greys Court house
Book cleaning in the library at Greys Court, Oxfordshire

Try it yourself!

We want to include you in our conservation process, and we have given you a couple of jobs to help us with.  Why not try it yourself with carpet tamping and brass cleaning with the guidance of volunteers?

Deep cleaning

Throughout January and February, the house team will be going room to room, cleaning the house thoroughly to every last cupboard. Whilst they deep clean, one of the rooms may be roped off, but you will be able to see what we are doing and there will be a film about the conservation process. 

Drawing room ceiling

The beautiful plaster ceiling in the Drawing room is quite tricky to clean, with hundreds of delicate plasterwork casts. Watch us clean the ceiling on 20 February with specialist tools.

Plasterwork on the Drawing Room Ceiling
Plasterwork on the Drawing Room Ceiling
Plasterwork on the Drawing Room Ceiling

Behind the scenes tours

The house team will be running a series of museum hack tours where visitors are in the driving seat, plus behind-the-scenes tours where visitors get to peek in the attics, nursery and store cupboards. which will run every Thursday at 11.30am. These tours are led by our expert volunteers and are first come first served - please pick up your tickets from Visitor Reception.

Rose garden wall restoration

After hundreds of years, the wall between the Rose garden and Tower garden sadly collapsed after a spell of heavy rain saturated the lime mortar.  This winter we have been busy restoring the wall using traditional materials of brick and flint bedded in lime mortar to fit neatly back into its historic context. Why have a stroll aorund the gardens and take a look at the progress so far?

Rose Garden Wall Restoration
Rose Garden Wall Restoration
Rose Garden Wall Restoration

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