Behind Closed Doors

Conservation cleaning the painting of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland 10th Baronet.

Whilst the mansion is closed, the house and collection team have been dusting, repairing, painting and on constant bug watch-all to keep the house spick and span until we can open the doors once again.

The mansion may be closed but behind the shutters is a hive of activity. The house and collections team still have all of their usual tasks to do to ensure the mansion is clean, orderly and pest free. It's an ongoing task as the full team are still not all back at work, but the spiders and their cobwebs are certainly not furloughed.

An Arty Acland

A hand draw sketch by Sir Thomas Dyke Acland
A hand-drawn sketch of a Highland cow
A hand draw sketch by Sir Thomas Dyke Acland

Denise, the House and Collection Manager, found this sketch in the archives by Thomas Dyke Acland along with a cutting about an old breed of cattle. It is remarkably similar to the Highland cows we have grazing on the estate today.

When we’re cleaning windows

There are a lot of windows at Killerton; many being sash windows. The design of these windows is particularly ingenious. The design allows the user to open the window slightly 
at the top and the bottom. This brings all the benefits of fresh air and good ventilation but reduces the risk of adverse weather coming in. 

However, being at the mercy of the elements on one side leaves our windows particularly vulnerable. They are exposed to fluctuating temperatures and relative humidity. They also come under attack from birds, sticks and, even the occasional climbing garden plant. The fluctuating humidity often creates the perfect climate for mould growth. This means that we are engaged in a constant battle against mould growth on our windows during the winter. 

Conservation Assistant, Brian, is making his way round with a bucket of warm water, hand cleaning each interior of all of the mansion windows and drying them down behind him. He's is doing an excellent job and the windows are looking fantastic. Some of the upstairs windows are so clean that you wouldn’t even know they are there.

When asked to comment on this Brian said ‘I’m happy cleanin’ windows, take my time. I’ll see you when the house opens. Not going to let it slide. I’m working man in my prime, cleanin’ windows …’  

One of the huge windows Brian has cleaned at Killerton
Huge arched window in the restaurant at Killerton
One of the huge windows Brian has cleaned at Killerton

Chapel Work

This winter the team have sunk their teeth into cleaning the Killerton Chapel. Amongst other tasks they have hand polished the floor, cleaned the organ and vacuumed the textiles. The interior of the Chapel is now gleaming and ready to welcome visitors once again.

The interior of the chapel at Killerton
Dark wooden pews face each other inside the chapel
The interior of the chapel at Killerton