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Behind the scenes in winter: Crathes Castle

Behind the scenes at Crathes Castle


One speaker: Kayleigh Heister, Visitor Services Assistant (Collections Care)

My name is Kayleigh Heister and I am Collections Care here at Crathes Castle, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.

The winter months, that's really when the work gets going!
It is virtually recovering from summer.
We are the busiest site in the North East -- we get on average 300 people through Crathes in one day, so it's a lot of footfall.
It's a kind of recovery period almost.

It is cleaning, but it's also in-depth checking all the objects, see if any deterioration has happened naturally.
We're doing our pest checking.
We're checking our light levels because those are the sunny months in the summer and we want to see how much fading has occurred.
We're taking portraits off the walls, checking the backs of them, really looking at every little nook and cranny.
So, winter months is not my rest months!

This is Jean Burnett; I call her Jean.
Everyone thinks it's a little funny that I'll call the portraits by their names, but she's one of our Jamesone paintings.
This past winter, we noticed she was tilting quite a bit forward, so the concern then became is the portrait going to fall off?
We decided to take her off display and we had a good look at the back of her frame.
We noticed that the hanging mechanism was starting to fray.
There was too much weight being put on it, so we had to make sure it wasn't the frame itself.
Jean got an upgrade -- she has a new hanging mechanism towards the back of her,and she should be hanging there for a good few 20 years, if not more, now.

The work that took place, we can really only do it, since we are a charity, through donations and membership and the support of our communities to keep Crathes up and running.
Thank you for supporting the National Trust for Scotland.
We wouldn't be able to do what we do without your support.

Here is the last in our series of short films that give a snapshot of the conservation work taking place all year round.

The winter months are certainly not the quiet months at Crathes for the Collections Care team! Kayleigh Heister gives us a short insight into the painstaking work taking place to care for and protect the collections.

We are enormously grateful to our supporters for making this work possible – thank you!

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Please note that permission for drone flying was granted by the National Trust for Scotland. Please contact for recreational and commercial drone filming enquiries.

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