Conservation at Packwood

Textile conservator Victoria Allan working on Queen Margarets bed at Packwood House, Warwickshire.

This year Packwood has been open 363 days a year which has bought about new challenges for the team but means visitors are able to take a glimpse into how we care for this beautiful property. If you see a member of the team, ask them what they've been up to.

Having been owned and cared for by the National Trust since 1941, Packwood’s house and collection fight a daily battle against dust, light and pests; but the Trust has a team of specialised conservators, curators and conservationists that help us look after the collection, and when required repair the items.

Looking after our historic collection at Packwood.
Conserving our bible commentary at Packwood House, Warwickshire.
Looking after our historic collection at Packwood.

It takes a lot of work to take care of the house and its collection. As we are now open 363 days a year we bring all of this work from behind closed doors for you to see.


Our collection of European tapestries, Tudor treasures and our lay figurine are just some of the items you will be able to see how we care for around the property.
 

Conserving Queen Margaret’s Bed

We are currently restoring the bed hangings of Queen Margaret’s Bed with the help of a freelance textile conservator based in Warwick. This includes deep cleaning of the bed and hangings alongside preventative conservation which includes looking for things like mould, pests and damage. The bed hangings have been taken down and taken back to Warwick for repairs. 

Queen Margaret's room at Packwood
Queen Margaret's room at Packwood
Queen Margaret's room at Packwood

Unwanted wildlife

Wildlife is always lovely to see out-of-doors, but not so welcome inside the house.  Our Integrated Pest Management System involves collecting all the ‘Blunder Traps’ (you may have spotted these clear boxes in discreet corners around the house) and recording all the pests found which are harmful to the collection. We do this quarterly and look out for things like moths, bat droppings, beetles and silverfish. 

The conservation team are now working on the annual deep clean in the downstairs rooms of the house and can often be seen carrying out ‘conservation in action’ in front of visitors. The cleaning downstairs often involves using ladders or the scaffold as we have to reach the tops of tapestries and the high ceilings in the Entrance Hall and Great Hall.  

Cleaning of a painted cloth using a suction controlled vacuum.
Painted Cloth cleaning at Packwood House, Warwickshire
Cleaning of a painted cloth using a suction controlled vacuum.

On your next visit to Packwood, if you spot a member of the conservation team ask them what they’ve been up to recently and how they’re conserving Packwood for everyone to enjoy.