Conservation Week at Knole

Conservators Judy Wetherall and Pete Jenkins retouching one of eight gilded sconces in the new Conservation Studio

Visit Knole during Conservation Week from 5-10 June and find out how we care for the house and its wonderful collections. Special events throughout the week provide an opportunity to talk to our conservators and experience their work first-hand.

Our conservation team is responsible for keeping the house in order and top condition. Each morning before Knole opens they are busy dusting, cleaning and taking care of the furniture, paintings and tapestries. They also carry out a deep clean when the showrooms are closed over the winter when every item – from the stunning silverware in the King’s Bedroom to the intricate carved picture frames in the Cartoon Gallery – is methodically cleaned and its condition recorded.

Find out more about their work by coming along to the daily sessions in the showrooms during Conservation Week where the team will carry out demonstrations and answer questions.

Knole is also home to the National Trust’s only conservation studio open to the public, housed in a beautifully renovated medieval barn. By next spring our resident conservators will have conserved at least 80 per cent of Knole’s collections. The studio is open to the public and provides a unique chance to see specialists in action, working on pieces from our precious collection before they return to the showrooms.

The studio has a series of fascinating interactive displays and an open plan layout to allow visitors the chance to see the conservators at work and to learn about their tools, techniques and processes.

During Conservation Week the conservators will run daily drop-in sessions where they will demonstrate their work and answer questions. Don’t forget to take a peek through the windows of our conservation store, where the precious objects awaiting attention are kept in a controlled environment.

What’s on during Conservation Week?

Keeping house – past and present

Meet our conservation team in the showrooms and find out how they take care of the house and its precious contents. Visitors can watch housekeeping demonstrations and will have the chance to ask questions about the care of our wonderful collection of paintings, furniture and tapestries.

Tuesday 5 to Sunday 10 June, drop-in from 12-3.30pm. Normal admission prices apply.

Understanding Knole’s past through its collections

Join us for an informative lecture delivered by our project conservator Martha Infray and objects conservator Jan Cutajar. The talk will include updates on the conservation work being undertaken at Knole and the building work taking place in the Cartoon Gallery. Visitors will also learn about the discovery and conservation of the beautiful ebony kussenkast (Dutch for cushion wardrobe). This beautiful piece has been recorded in Knole’s inventories since 1730 and will be on display in the Spangle Bedroom from next year.  

Tuesday 5 June in the Hayloft from 7-8pm with a wine reception from 6.15pm. Tickets are £7.50. Bookings should be made online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole/whats-on or by calling 0344 249 1895.

Up close with Knole’s conservators

Many of Knole’s beautiful pieces have been lovingly treated by our specialist conservation team in the studio. During Conservation Week members of the team will be sharing their work with visitors at drop-in sessions.

Wednesday 6 June to Saturday 9 June. Drop-in to the conservation studio between 12-1pm and 2-3pm. Free entry, donations towards our conservation work are most welcome.

Beastly bugs trail

If you have little ones in tow, this beastly bugs trail in the showrooms is a fun way to learn about the bugs and pests that can affect Knole’s collection, while spotting the replica bugs hidden amongst paintings, silver and furniture

The trail is suitable for children aged 2-7 and is available from Saturday 26 May to Sunday 10 June (excluding Monday 4 June). Normal admission prices apply. Pick up the free trail in the Great Hall.

For opening times, prices, accessibility and further information, please go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole