Conservation in Action at Petworth House

Conservation cleaning at Petworth

As part of the National Trust, Europe's largest conservation charity that looks after everything from coastlines to castles and the collection of country houses, it's important that we look after the extraordinary collection at Petworth House for future generations to see and enjoy.

Rather than working to preserve this extrordinary collection behind closed doors, during Conservation in Action on wednesdays you can watch our team as they carry out their work to protect and preserve our historic painting and sculpture.

From tasks such as cleaning picture frames with a brush and a low pressure hoover to cleaning the Chippendale sofas with protective netting you can watch how the House and Collections team preserve our collection.

On other occassons you might see the team on a ladder in the North Gallery dusting the large sculptures, or winding the clocks in the state rooms.

See the house team carry out some of their tasks to ensure the collection of Petworth House and Park is preserved for future generations
A member of the house team winding a clock in the Carved Room of Petworth House
See the house team carry out some of their tasks to ensure the collection of Petworth House and Park is preserved for future generations

Look out for the rare days when the team take on more substantial jobs that they might only do once or twice a year.

If you are lucky you can catch the team cleaning the insides of the 17th century lacquer cabinets and the drawers of the French Boulle commode made circa 1710. Because the drawers and cabinets have remained closed, the interior decorations haven't been effected by light damage so the designs and vibrancy of the colours are a closer match to how the objects would have looked when they were made.

Watch conservation in action Wednesdays during the core season at Petworth House
A member of the house team dusting the interiors of the Mazarin Bureau at Petworth House
Watch conservation in action Wednesdays during the core season at Petworth House

Other days you may see the team close off the Chapel for a deep clean where they go in to the pews to do a thorough job. Though you can't go in the Chapel, the corridor adjoining makes a good place to watch through the windows.

Stop by each Wednesday from March to October and see what the team are up to next.