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Our work at Lanhydrock in winter

A member of the conservation team cleaning carvings using a brush and conservation grade hoover at Lanhydrock, Cornwall
Conservation cleaning at Lanhydrock | © National Trust Images / Faye Rason

Lanhydrock House closes its doors to the public in the winter months. This is so the conservation team can carry out important deep-cleaning and remedial conservation work on the many thousands of items that are on display throughout the year. Find out more about the vital work that is carried out below.

Conservation work

There are thousands of items on display in Lanhydrock House and each needs to be thoroughly cleaned and condition checked.

To do this without damaging the collection we use a wide range of tools. Specialist low suction vacuum cleaners are used for the rugs, carpets and some furniture, while delicate brushes made from hogs' hair and pony hair remove dirt and dust from furniture and frames.

A thorough clean

Every room is cleaned from top to bottom – starting from the highest point on the ceiling and continuing right down to the floor. As part of the conservation work we check for insect pests and take action to clear infestations if they occur.

The Billiard's Room at Lanhydrock, with a billiard's table in the foreground and a fireplace in the background.
The Billiard's Room at Lanhydrock | © National Trust Images / Andreas von Einsiedel

Treating historic doors

Winter is the ideal time for some larger projects to take place as well. Previously, the funds from raffle ticket sales were used to treat the 17th-century oak front door, carved with the heraldic devices of the 1st Baron Robartes.

We hired a specialist conservator to carefully remove the old peeling varnish and carry out essential repairs to the joints. The door was then treated with several applications of linseed oil to ensure the surface is protected from the elements.

Cleaning bespoke carpets

In previous years, a specialist textile conservator visited Lanhydrock to carry out treatments on some of the carpets. A large portion of the time was spent on the bespoke carpet made to go around the family’s billiard table.

Also treated was a tapestry rug in Lord Robartes’ bedroom. This rug was still in use by the family when the house was gifted to the National Trust in 1953, so it's had a lot of wear. In the Drawing Room a rare example of a chenille carpet proved to be very fragile work.

Cataloguing books

Work has continued on producing a comprehensive inventory of the historic book collections. We’ve worked with specialist book cataloguers adding as many as possible to our electronic collections database. This included taking measurements and checking the general condition of each book.

Thank you

With your ongoing support, we're able to continue our vital conservation work. Thank you for helping to protect these special places.

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