Behind closed doors in winter

Cleaning the chandelier at Lanhydrock, Cornwall

Lanhydrock house is closed during the winter months so the conservation team can carry out deep cleaning and remedial conservation work on the many thousand items on display throughout the year.

Winter is one of the busiest times of year for the conservation team who work in the house. Every room is cleaned from top to bottom - starting from the highest point on the ceiling and continuing right down to the floor. It's not a job for those who are scared of heights, as we need to work from scaffolding towers to reach the plasterwork ceiling in the gallery and high ladders for the chandeliers in the entertainment rooms.

You can't work here if you're afraid of heights...
Conservation assistants on scaffolding at Lanhydrock
You can't work here if you're afraid of heights...

Collection care

There are over 200,000 items on display in Lanhydrock house and every one needs to be thoroughly cleaned and condition checked. To do this without damaging the collection we use a wide range of tools. Museum vacuum cleaners are used for the rugs, carpets and some furniture, while hogs' hair and pony hair brushes are used to remove dirt and dust from more delicate items.

Being careful of the teeth
A conservation assistant cleans the tiger skin rug
Being careful of the teeth

Little beasties

As part of the conservation clean we check for pests and take action to clear woodworm or moth infestations when they occur. The team are experts at identifying different bugs and recognising which ones can cause damage to the collections and which are harmless.

Bigger projects

Over January and February 2018 we're carrying out improvements to the paintwork in the kitchen corridor and outside the livery room. We're also replacing the carpet where it has worn out on the stair-treads in the house. So that the carpet is in keeping with the history of the house, this has been specially woven for Lanhydrock to match that used elsewhere.

Come and see the improvements in March

You'll be able to see the result of all this hard work and discover more about some of the women from the shadows of Lanhydrock's history, when you come along from 1 March when the house re-opens.