The last leg of extreme dusting Feb 29 2016
We're coming to the end of our winter deep clean here at Polesden Lacey. After tackling the beautiful tapestries at the very top of our central hall, our next priority is cleaning the wonderful reredos, salvaged from a Christopher Wren church in London.
Architectural interiors at Polesden Lacey
A reredos is a screen or a decorated part of the wall behind an altar in a church. This is one of the many fascinating architectural backdrops at Polesden that Mrs Greville employed the architectural salvage company White Allom and Co. to source for her.
Cleaning this wonderful reredos takes more than standing on a ladder, especially given that it's over 20 feet tall. In order to get to the top of the reredos we put up our scaffold tower, which also enables us to reach the rest of the wood panelling around the central hall.
Conservation tools for cleaning
We use a small ergo vacuum cleaner, which you can wear Ghost Busters style, and a brush attachment. But in order to really work the dust out of all the crevices, we use a small hogs hair brush and dust straight into the end of a vacuum.
Cleaning the chandelier
As well as cleaning the reredos and panelling, we also take the opportunity to clean the chandelier. The chandelier now looks sparkly becuase one of our conservation demonstrators has very patiently dusted each branch, before buffing them with a silver cloth to bring up the shine. But how did we reach the chandelier, you may ask?
The chandelier is on a winch system, so we are able to lower it in order to clean it more easily. But don’t worry, there are no Del Boy moments as the chandelier cannot actually reach the floor. With the central hall deep clean almost complete, next week the big floor polish will commence.
The house team and our conservation demonstrators will be polishing the floors in the central hall, billiard room and tea room to make sure they have an extra layer of protection and are gleaming ready for when we open again in March.
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