Staff and volunteers at the National Trust’s Claydon House, nestled in the Aylesbury Vale countryside between Buckingham and Winslow, have been divulging the secret goings on in the house throughout the winter with their Behind-the-scenes tours, led by the conservation team. The house is shrouded in dust sheets and the rooms are kept dark to prevent sunlight fading the precious objects contained within its grey stone walls. Visitors were treated to rare glimpses of areas not usually seen, such as the conservation store, and learned about the conservation cleaning and care techniques used to preserve the artefacts in the house. The nine agents of deterioration were explained- problems which conservation staff come up against when looking after collections, including humidity and insects pests. Tour members were given tips on how to look after various items, including how to use Vodka to clean mould off things, and the many benefits of looking at pictures with a raking light.
Many people on the tour commented on the wonderful work taking place in the winter, and how they didn’t realise how much time, effort and funds it took for the conservation charity to care for the places they do.
Claydon is open for visitors Saturdays – Wednesdays from 10th March, 11-5. Entry is free for National Trust members. For more information go to
More photographs soon at
Pictures by Derek Pelling Photography