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The house team has soared through the winter cleaning schedule this week. We finished deep cleaning the Drawing Room, Sultana Room, East Ante Room, and started work in the Boudoir this afternoon.

The Sultana Room 'put to bed' for the winter

Cleaning in a historic house requires specialist equipment. There are a variety of brushes we use, ranging from badger hair to pony hair, each with their own particular use on furniture, marble, paintings and so on.

The range of brushes used for conservation cleaning

As there is so much gilding on the furniture in the Mansion, the brush we tend to use the most is the humble pony hair brush. Pony hair comes from the mane of young horses and is very soft. Gilding on furniture is particularly fragile, and there is a certain technique to using a pony hair brush that Sally (Engagement and Conservation Assistant) describes as ‘tickling’ the furniture. The last thing gilding needs is a heavy hand!

Using a pony hair brush on gilding in the Boudoir