Conservation in Action days at Wightwick

A selection of soft paintbrushes, shaving brushes and polishing tools laid out on a white cloth ready to be used for conservation cleaning

On the second Wednesday of each month from February to October, we'll be letting you into our secrets. Meet our award-winning conservation team and learn about how they protect and care for the items in our care and see some of the treasures we just don't have space to display.

Conservation in Action

Taking place on 13 February, 13 March, 10 April, 8 May, 12 June, 10 July, 14 August, 11 September and 9 October.

From light damage to pests, dust to humidity, many things can damage our collection. As part of your visit to the Manor, find out how we care for our furniture, ceramics and artwork through our preventative conservation measures.

What conservation work will we be doing this autumn?

Vickie, our Conservation Assistant can tell you more:

This autumn a special conservation project to restore some of the rushwork in the Manor will be getting underway. Anyone who has visited Wightwick Manor will have seen the unique Canadian rush woven wall-covering panels that decorate the family staircase.

These panels are in need of urgent conservation work to prevent further environmental and physical damage from occurring and to return the rushwork to its former glory.

Our appeal in 2017 raised money from the sale of raffle tickets and later this year a specialist conservator will begin work on resorting the rush woven wall-coverings. 

Book cataloguing

Since February, Harvey James has been working hard to catalogue the book collection at Wightwick. This is a long, ongoing but important process that will see records of all of the books in our collection put onto our collections database. 

The collection of children’s books at Wightwick Manor is one of the finest and most diverse in any National Trust library. Its special appeal lies in its foundation with two (but effectively three) generations of Mander children and how the books they loved and enjoyed as children have survived and been valued by the family as a whole, amongst the other books that make up the Wightwick library.” - Harvey James

One of Wightwick's huge collection of books
A book being supported on two foam, wedge rests
One of Wightwick's huge collection of books

The De Morgan Gallery re-hang

The De Morgan Gallery will close on Tuesday 27 August until Saturday 31 August, and re-open to the public on Sunday 1st September with a new, colourful display of ceramics and paintings from the De Morgan Foundation’s collection, Wightwick’s own collection and loans from the V&A.

The new exhibition will invite visitors to ‘Look Beneath the Lustre’ of the De Morgan’s artwork. Opening on September 1st, the new display of paintings, drawings and ceramics will examine the De Morgan’s creation of fine and decorative arts for the most beautiful art movement of the late-19th century and how they inspired the Mander family at Wightwick Manor.

Elsewhere in the Manor

The Rossetti: Pre the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition is on display in the Daisy room, on the first floor of the Manor. The exhibition will remain in the Daisy room until December 24th, when it will move down to the ground floor of the Manor to be displayed in the Billiard room.

New racking has been installed in our conservation store to ensure the carpets in our collection that aren’t on display are stored correctly. Due to the collective weight of the fabrics and the way in which the carpets must be stored the racking has to be extra strong and secure. The conservation team spent weeks carefully cleaning, rolling and wrapping the carpets which have been now inserted onto the racking.

On the first floor of the house in the Honeysuckle room, the bed hangings have been returned after being carefully cleaned and conserved. They are now rehung, ready for visitors to enjoy. 
Conservation in Action continues on the second Wednesday of each month, until October.

Come and see what it takes to look after our collection, meet our award-winning conservation team and have a go at handling and cleaning the objects. Entry fee to the property applies but there is no extra charge to take part in Conservation in Action.

How to make the pots and pans shine
A National Trust conservation assistant wearing gloves is cleaning a big cooper pan with a cloth and polish in a Victorian Kitchen
How to make the pots and pans shine


Find out more on our Conservation In Action event page.