Hands-on cleaning of Ickworth’s treasures

Cathy Godden, conservation volunteer at Ickworth.
Cathy Godden, conservation volunteer at Ickworth.
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Spring has arrived at Ickworth House with the reopening of the grand Rotunda following a winter break.

Over the last few months, staff and volunteers have been busy carrying out essential conservation and deep cleaning on Ickworth’s collections and treasures.

The conservation work doesn’t end there, with projects planned throughout the year giving visitors the chance to see some of the specialist work taking place.

This month, visitors will be able to watch as conservators repair the drawing room curtains, which have been damaged by light, dust and touch.

It is a specialist task that has not taken place for more than 20 years and will cost nearly £9,000 to complete.

The support of visitors and members plays a vital role in ensuring the National Trust is able to care for the collection at Ickworth, and throughout 2017 there will be a chance to delve deeper into life at Ickworth by signing up for a series of new ‘Conservation in Action: A Hands on Approach’ sessions.

The sessions will be held every third Thursday of each month – excluding August – and will be led by a team of conservation assistants.

Visitors who take part will use conservation cleaning techniques to care for some of Ickworth’s historic pieces.

Sophie Court, house steward, said: “The hands-on sessions are a great opportunity for us to open up a side of Ickworth that visitors may not have seen before.

“Visitors will be able to go behind the scenes and explore the work we do to keep Ickworth alive.

“We look forward to welcoming people for this new hands-on approach to conservation.”

For more information on events at Ickworth visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth or call 01284 735 270.