Sunday, 18 November 2012

Montacute House winter tours

Like many historic properties, Montacute House is normally closed to the public during the Winter months. The main reason for this is conservation: delicate furniture and textiles need to be covered over to protect them, as can be seen in this photograph of the Drawing Room at Montacute. Each item in the inventory has a "light budget" – the number of hours per year that it can safely be exposed to sunlight. Items earn points while they are covered over and lose them when they are on display!

The "closed" season doesn't mean the staff get a four-month holiday though! It provides an opportunity for a thorough clean of all the rooms from top to bottom, and to catch up on conservation tasks.

This year for the first time the public is being given limited access to the house throughout the closed season. There are guided tours between noon and 2pm every Saturday and Sunday, led by volunteers including Denis Dickinson (seen on the right in the photograph below, speaking to a tour group in the Dining Room).

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