Peckover House at Wisbech gets ready for the winter

When a National Trust property closes for the winter, you might think its staff get a well-earned rest.

But after the tide of visitors through the summer months halts, the hard work begins for those behind the scenes.

Members of the public will be given a rare insight into the art of closing a National Trust house down for winter at a special event at Peckover House, in Wisbech, in November.

Visitors will be given a demonstration of the techniques and hard work that go into maintaining an important part of history.

House steward Carole French, pictured, said: 'It's like us doing our spring clean, but we do it in the winter when we're not open to the public.'

In Victorian times the Peckovers would have had a winter house and a summer home, so the house would have to have been shut down for the winter.

Conservationists who work for the National Trust are given specialist training in how to clean the antiques without breaking and destroying them. The house must be protected from fire, flood, humidity and light.

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At Peckover House during the winter the volunteers go through every book, dusting each page before they are carefully placed back on the shelf.

It is such an undertaking that often only half of the books in the library are dusted each year. Only natural ingredients are used for cleaning.

Putting the House to Bed takes place on November 6 between 10am and 1pm. Light lunch included. The day costs �15. Booking is essential on 01945 583463.