Winter conservation at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Conservation in action during the winter clean

With the quieter winter months now here it allows for more time to be spent on important conservation work. This means we can make sure the collection is in the best possible condition all year round.

Winter conservation work

Vita’s Writing Room in the Tower has been under going some changes recently. Since the Garden closed to visitors back in November, the process of ‘Putting the House to bed’ has been in full flow. Firstly concentrating on the Library, which has been shut up tight against the damp weather coming in from the garden. We've been working hard to clean, assess and protect the collection that's kept there.

The furniture is covered with custom made dustsheets after the woodwork has been dusted with conservation brushes, textiles hoovered and if needed the wood waxed. Once dusted most objects will be covered with acid-free tissue paper hats, to avoid any further dust settling. This dust can be abrasive to many of our surfaces and has the potential to cause damage. Carpets are rolled to relax their pile, wooden floors are buffed and metalwork cleaned. Particular attention will be made to keeping the room as dark as possible, as UV light can irreversibly change the surface of objects, and we will also monitor relative humidity.

A view of Vita's writing room
A view of Vita's writing room

The Library has been ‘put to bed’ behind closed doors, however from the 16 January visitors will be able to see the process happening behind the grille of the Tower Writing Room.

The many objects from Vita’s desk will be cleaned and stored, ceramic and glass objects will be packed away and furniture will be covered. All of this will unfold as you climb up and down the Tower where you can view more images from our new International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition, which runs until 28th February. We will then have a 2 week window to uncover both the Writing Room and the Library before the Garden opens on the 12th March.