Behind the scenes: winter conservation at Paycocke's House

Ever wondered what happens when we close the doors for winter? Here’s your chance to find out. Take a sneak peek behind the scenes of our winter cleaning conservation work.

What do we do while the doors are shut?

Checking and cleaning

While the doors are shut to the public, our conservators are hard at work. One of the biggest tasks is removing the dust that has accumulated during the open season. If the dust is left, it can become cemented in place - and a problem to remove. With so much wood featured throughout the house, from timbers to panelling, another huge job involves lots of waxing and polishing.
 
The closed period also offers the perfect opportunity for taking a closer look at the condition of the building and contents. Conservators look carefully for signs of general deterioration or insect damage, to see if any treatment needs to be planned or action taken to prevent further damage.

Step inside Paycocke's House
Paycockes House Winter Clean in Essex

Carrying out important project work

Another advantage of having the doors shut for a period over winter is that it provides a good opportunity for larger projects to be undertaken. These are typically rewiring and building conservation work that affect large areas of the building. These tasks cannot easily be carried out whilst visitors are being admitted to the property.
 
Nevertheless we are always looking for ways to make this work accessible to and safe for visitors - so look out for opportunities to take a peek behind the scenes.

Want to get involved?

Keeping Paycocke’s in pristine condition is an ongoing challenge and we welcome volunteers keen to be involved throughout the year. If you want to be part of the Paycocke’s story, we’d love to hear from you.