Curious about conservation

Drawing room interior with portrait of Mary Anne Disraeli, wife of former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli at Hughenden
Published : 01 Feb 2020 Last update : 17 Feb 2020

Discover how the house team care for Hughenden's Victorian interiors and unusual collection 363 days of the year.

Cleaning methods past and present

Historically servants in large houses would perform a deep clean whenever the owner of the house was away. When the Disraelis were in their London home or travelling, the servants would be able to carry out a thorough deep clean and cover the furniture.

Today, Hughenden is open to the public all year round, so the house team carries out the deep clean in front of visitors, providing an opportunity to see how historic interiors are cared for. 

In each room the contents are cleaned from top to bottom on an annual basis, and we also document the condition of objects and identify any potential problems. Staff and volunteers use special brushes to dust into adapted low suction vacuums. Textiles and ceramics are carefully cleaned, curtains relaxed and furniture checked for damage. 

Conservation cleaning at Hughenden Manor
A volunteer cleaning green ceramics in Hughenden's garden hall
Conservation cleaning at Hughenden Manor

Preparing for every eventuality

When disaster strikes, our constant preparation pays dues, as we learned in the aftermath of the recent flood in Hughenden’s historic library.