Conservation

Conservation At English Heritage

Conservation is a cornerstone of everything we do at English Heritage. Our experts conserve and maintain over 400 historic buildings and monuments, their associated gardens and landscapes, and half a million artefacts.

In this section we share the practical guidance we have developed for the care of collections, gardens and landscapes, and describe some of our current research projects.

Conserving our Collections

There are half a million artefacts in the English Heritage collections, ranging from Roman coins to paintings by Turner and Rembrandt. They are spread across England in over 100 historic houses, churches, museums and stores. The work of our conservators, conservation scientists and collections care assistants focuses on identifying, understanding and combatting the risks to these collections and interiors. Click on the links below to discover more about how we care for our collections.

Research into clothes moths

From tapestries to period dresses, our furnishings and fabrics are hundreds of years old. But clothes moths can eat through them in several months. In 2017, our conservation scientists asked for your help.

We were very grateful to the hundreds of members of the public who got involved in contributing to this valuable research. The moth catch data returned by volunteers all over England was analysed by our conservation scientists, and gave rise to some fascinating - and surprising - results...

Read more about our clothes moth research

Caring for our sites

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of the empire to a Cold War bunker. To protect and maintain the sites in our care, we carry out vital conservation work.

Find out more about some of our current projects, which range from resolving the risks posed to historic graffiti at Richmond Castle, to conserving the world's first iron bridge.

Gardens and Landscape Conservation

English Heritage looks after many nationally important historic gardens and landscapes, such as Wrest Park and Osborne House.

Find out more about our work with these gardens and landscapes, and read our guidance on managing and maintaining them.

More about Gardens and Landscapes Conservation

Conservation in Action A Heritage Adventure: Cannon Conservation on the Isles of Scilly

English Heritage’s intrepid conservators go to any lengths to protect the spaces and objects in our care. Follow Bethan Stanley, our Senior Collections Conservator, as she travels to the tiny St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly to work on some cannons in need of TLC.

English Heritage’s intrepid conservators go to any lengths to protect the spaces and objects in our care. Follow Bethan Stanley, our Senior Collections Conservator, as she travels to the tiny St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly to work on some cannons in need of TLC.

Conservation in Action Eltham Palace Map Room

In the 1930s the owners of Eltham Palace, Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, used a room at the palace to plan their worldwide travels. Take a look behind the scenes at how conservators have uncovered maps and beautiful paintings on the Map Room walls.

In the 1930s the owners of Eltham Palace, Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, used a room at the palace to plan their worldwide travels. Take a look behind the scenes at how conservators have uncovered maps and beautiful paintings on the Map Room walls.

Conservation in Action Rievaulx Abbey: Conservation Behind the Scenes

Take a look at the conservation work being carried out on historic objects from the collection, including stonework from the abbey buildings, before they went on display in the new museum at Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire.

Take a look at the conservation work being carried out on historic objects from the collection, including stonework from the abbey buildings, before they went on display in the new museum at Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire.

Conservation in Action richmond Castle: Conserving the cell block graffiti

The thousands of graffiti inscribed by prisoners and others from the First World War onwards on the walls of the Richmond Castle cell block form a unique record. Find out how English Heritage plans to preserve them.

The thousands of graffiti inscribed by prisoners and others from the First World War onwards on the walls of the Richmond Castle cell block form a unique record. Find out how English Heritage plans to preserve them.

A Heritage Adventure: Cannon Conservation on the Isles of Scilly
Eltham Palace Map Room
Rievaulx Abbey: Conservation Behind the Scenes
richmond Castle: Conserving the cell block graffiti

Please Support Today

Caring for over 400 historic places means everything from restoring Old Master paintings, to carrying out essential repair works on buildings, to planting historic gardens and keeping them blooming throughout the year.

Play your part in giving England's heritage a future.

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