There are more than 8 acres of buildings at Hampton Court
Palace comprising 70 display rooms, each and every one of which must by
cleaned once a week.
Each year, the conservators:
With many of the ceilings being around 10 meters high, it
takes three conservators and one electrician more than an hour to change one
Last year, conservators trapped more than 700 insects and
spiders, identifying 30% as object-damaging pests. (Not included was the
baby grass snake that wandered into the King's Exhibition Room at Hampton
The 66 historic mirrors at Hampton Court Palace are made up
of 4,620 parts, all of which are inspected regularly to ensure they are well
A newly-woven tapestry can support the weight of 1Ĺ
double-decker buses. A 400-year-old tapestry can barely support its own
The Royal Ceremonial Dress
Collection at Kensington Palace contains between 13,000 and 14,000
individual items that were fabricated between the 1750s and the present
Hampton Court Palace's six
grand-scale Royal State beds are made up of more than 300 textile, wood, and
metal parts, each requiring a specialist-tailored approach to its
Queen Caroline's State bed is
fitted with six mattresses that are stuffed with straw, horsehair, and
There are 94 pieces of giltwood
furniture at the palaces, 63 of which have been treated in the past four
There are more than 100 pieces
of sculptural building decoration at Hampton Court. The most vulnerable
pieces in the palace gardens are wrapped each winter with special covers to
protect them from freezing conditions.
Henry VIII commissioned the 10 Abraham tapestries for the
Great Hall 500 years ago. It is said that each tapestry cost the equivalent
of building, fitting out, and staffing a modern-day battleship.
The Abraham tapestries are one of the most sumptuous
tapestry ensembles to survive from any period. The prodigious amount of gold
used in the tapestries distinguishes them as one of the most opulent
products of the Brussels industry of this or any other period.
Tapestries were made almost exclusively by men, including
the dyeing of the yarns and the weaving itself. Embroidery was much more a
At the time of Henry VIII's death, the English Royal
Collection of tapestries numbered more than 2,000, including more than 200
If all the tapestries at Hampton Court Palace were to be
laid out, they would cover an area equivalent to six tennis courts.
Specialist surveys calculate that it will take 126 human
years to conserve the palace's historic tapestry collection--by which time
repeat treatment is expected to be required.
Washing a tapestry takes around 8,000 liters of water. This
seems a lot, but a tapestry will need a wash every 80 to 100 years at most.
If a person has a bath every day for 80 years, he or she will use 5,256,000
liters of water--657 times as much.
There are 12,000 items at Kensington Palace that must be
salvaged or rescued in the event of a fire.
The palace's 16-strong salvage team can safely remove all
objects from a room in an incredible six minutes. They use ladders that are
35 feet high to salvage many of the paintings, and they have to remove items
very carefully from spaces as small as half a meter wide.
The salvage team's members spend 180 hours a year practicing
the removal of artworks from Kensington Palace.
The smallest item to salvage at Kensington Palace is a
button, and the largest is a painting--"Charles II on Horseback"--that is
approximately 5 meters high.