Conservation in action at Lacock Abbey

Have you ever wondered what it's like to maintain a house the size of Lacock Abbey? This spring, we've brought our conservation work out from behind-the-scenes for you to see.

It takes a lot of work to take care of the abbey and its collection; this spring, we've brought this work out from behind-the-scenes for you to see.

Historic furniture, fragile ceramics and a Victorian rocking horse are just some of the items you'll be able to see being preserved.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until 31 March, visitors to Lacock Abbey will be able to see, and at times interact with, the work that is done to care for the abbey and its collection.

" A lot of what we do day-to-day is preventative – the more we do now the better we can control and delay the deterioration of the building and objects in the future. "
- Katherine Manning, House Steward at Lacock Abbey

There are over 800 years of history to preserve at Lacock; the abbey was first founded in 1232 by Ela, Countess of Salisbury.

Since then, subsequent owners have made alterations and left their own stamp on the site – from the Tudor owner who first converted it to a family home, to the Georgian owner who added the Great Hall with its iconic array of terracotta sculptures.

" The abbey is full of amazing historic objects, but I think I’m most excited to work on Firefoot, the Victorian rocking horse owned by the Talbot family. It’s quite a challenging object because it’s made up of so many different materials but because it’s unusual it will be really interesting to work on."
- Jessica Millichap, Conservation Assistant at Lacock Abbey
Wander the rooms at Lacock Abbey to find Firefoot
The rocking horse firefoot in the nursery at Lacock Abbey
Wander the rooms at Lacock Abbey to find Firefoot

You'll also be able to find out more about the challenges faced by conservators when caring for historic buildings like Lacock Abbey - dust, light, pests and fire are all risks that need managing - and how the team at the abbey deal with them.

The conservation work in the abbey will be on show in the abbey on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 11am and 4:15pm, until 31 March.

You can find out more information on timing and dates here.