We have just finished our fifth week of the winter season here at Polesden Lacey and are well into the swing of our winter clean, working very hard and so far sticking to our winter schedule!
In the last month we have been tackling areas such as the Portico bedroom and bathroom, the Gun room, balcony and gallery, as well as cleaning and packing away some items from rooms to make way for others that are part of our Christmas display ‘Edwardian Advent’. We dedicated two weeks primarily to getting the house ready and sparkling.
The idea of the ‘deep clean’ during the Winter includes methodically working round each room gives the house team a chance to condition check each item and realise just how many there are! This is the perfect opportunity to see if any aspect of the condition of an object has changed at all since it was last checked. Although all are monitored constantly throughout the year, during the Winter season every individual object in the showrooms are thoroughly inspected and cleaned.
This week was the turn of the Gun room. Every part of each room needs to be cleaned, including the top corners of some very high ceilings. In this room it also involved myself up a tall ladder armed with an Ergo vacuum, hogshair brush and shammy cloth, dusting the brass hanging lantern.
Another item requiring a ladder and a head for heights was the silvered chandelier in the balcony. This required a ponyhair silverbrush and an Ergo. It has a beautiful elaborate design with arms in the form of winged putti (cherubic infant) holding lighted torches and the top surmounted by fleur de lys (stylised lilies). However, this did not make it the easiest of objects to dust, as well as the chandelier’s position partially over the main staircase that meant one side was difficult to get to! It was tricky to clean but we like a challenge and it is very satisfying seeing the results afterwards with it looking very shiny!
With many layers of thermals and lots of hard work the cleaning during the winter season is definitely more than just a little ‘light dusting’! But it has certainly paid off so far, keeping to the winter master plan and successfully setting up the house for Christmas, with the help of our Conservation Volunteers. Next week we’re on to Mrs Greville’s apartment!
And come and see ‘Edwardian Advent’ for yourselves!