Reblogged : ‘Tudor splendour’ by Stitches of Time

We love to read about your experiences of visiting Charlecote. You all have many different reasons for wanting to see our special place and often take a variety of things from your visit.

Here is a blog post from Stitches of Time. As you may guess from the name, this blogger has an interest in stitching, sewing, knitting and historical embroidery…

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…I love Tudor buildings with the red stone and the twisted chimneys and this had a beautiful setting as well. It was brilliant to see so many families enjoying the place, it was the school holidays and there was a teddy bear’s picnic on the lawn. Lots of future National Trust members hopefully who will bring their own children and help care for these places forever.

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House Elves and the Winter Clean

Sorry for not updating you about our progress with the winter ‘deep’ clean sooner, but as you can imagine we have been very very busy Elves! A lot has happened since Christmas, too much to mention here, so we thought we’d compile a few highlights showing what we’ve been doing into a short video to share with you.

As you can see, a huge amount of care and attention has gone into successfully completing the clean in such a short space of time. We’re now downing brushes and dustsheets in preparation for the house reopening February 14th; but an Elf’s work is never done as we’ll continue to clean and monitor the collection during the open season.

Stay tuned for more updates!

It’s that time of year again…

Winter is quickly approaching. With the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, we feel like we should be going into hibernation with the rest of the wildlife at Charlecote. But there’s no rest for us house elves as we begin our winter ‘deep clean’ of the house!

A ‘deep clean’ basically allows us to go through each room in the house and clean every inch of it, from the ceiling to the floor and everything else in between. We make sure that each individual object is cared for, and then covered over with a dust sheet or tissue paper ‘hat’ – it feels a bit like we’re tucking them into bed!

So as you can imagine there’s A LOT to do before the house fully reopens again and not a lot of time to do it in, so we decided to get ourselves ahead of schedule by starting a bit earlier. In the past month the house elves have been busy ‘deep cleaning’ upstairs and have finished the Orange Bedroom, the Ebony Dressing Room, and the Ebony Bedroom (nearly!).

We’ve been up ladders dusting paintings:

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We’ve been carefully removing dust from bedspreads:

Very dusty bedspreads from the Ebony Bedroom and Ebony Dressing Room

Very dusty bedspreads from the Ebony Bedroom and Ebony Dressing Room

As well as getting into the nooks and crannies of fenders:blogvic

As you can probably tell, we’ve been removing large amounts of dust from the collection. Although the majority of objects do get cleaned regularly throughout the year, there are some that are either too high for us to reach without erecting scaffolding, or too delicate to be cleaned even once a year. With around 150,000 visitors so far this season, you can definitely tell what needs to be cleaned and the winter gives us a great chance to tackle those dust coated objects – and sneeze a lot!

We’ve got a huge and exciting to-do list for the next few months, including preparations for Charlecote’s Victorian Christmas and the arrival of Father Christmas, so we’ll keep you updated!

It’s all in the preparation…

It can be amazing just how much preparation is needed in order to complete what appears to be a simple task. Conservation is always our top priority as house elves, even if that means that the preparation can sometimes take much longer than the task itself! Take last Wednesday. A photograph of the pietra dura table in the Great Hall was being taken from above, a simple task you might think….but here is a step by step guide of what actually happened.

Step 1: Cover the table in order to protect it from falling pieces of scaffolding.

Step 1

Step 2: Gather together all the pieces of the scaffolding and protect the floor with dust sheets and wooden boards.

Step 2

Step 3: Build the scaffolding and remove the protective cover from the table. Give the table a good dust ready for its photo shoot.

Step 3
Step 4: Photography time. We can’t wait to see how the professional photographs turn out.

Step 4

Step 5: Dismantle the scaffolding.

Step 6: Phew! Time for a tea break.

Step 6