Chippendale’s mini-mansion

A 18th century doll's house which is undergoing a spring clean by National Trust staff.' 'LOCATION: Nostell Priory, Nostell'Pictured: Ellie Matthews Conservation consultant and Julie Richardson Housekeeping assistant.
A 18th century doll's house which is undergoing a spring clean by National Trust staff.' 'LOCATION: Nostell Priory, Nostell'Pictured: Ellie Matthews Conservation consultant and Julie Richardson Housekeeping assistant.
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A HISTORIC dolls’ house has been given a spring clean by staff at Nostell Priory.

The 18th century house was spruced up by a small conservation team, which was led by conservation engagement assistant, Ellie Matthews.

The annual process, which took around two days to complete, took place in public so that visitors to the stately home could see what the National Trust do to maintain the quality of the historic objects they care for.

Ms Matthews said: “We removed each item, carefully dusting it and checking for damage or deterioration before placing it back in the house.”

Although the house sounds deceptively big, standing at nearly 7ft tall with three floors, the items are miniscule.

The house and its contents were thought to have been made by a young Thomas Chippendale.

Crystal tableware, hallmarked silver and marble table tops are just some of the intricate objects on display within its rooms.

Housekeeping assistant Julie Richardson, who helped to clean the house, said: “When we clean the dolls’ house, it is required that we wear white gloves so as not to damage or dirty the antiques.

“No chemicals or cleaning fluids are used on the objects, just soft-bristle brushes and a special vacuum that has a low suction to help us get rid of the dust.

“For me, I found the hardest things to clean were the tiny drinking glasses, you just can’t get your fingers in there.

“We take our time though, and make sure that everything is dusted really delicately.”

Another item they have to be gentle with is the mouse that they move every year.

Ms Richardson explained: “After we’ve done the annual spring clean of the doll house, there is a tiny figurine of a mouse that we hide in a different place each year.

“We do it so that both children and adults can try and find the mouse, it’s just a bit of fun, and makes people look more closely at the house.”