Good Housekeeping: Agents of Deterioration

 Registration is closed for this event
Caring for your old building’s historic fittings, fixtures and furnishings. Watch this recorded online talk to learn about good housekeeping for old houses and other buildings. The talk were originally presented as part of the SPAB's Maintenance Week 2021.

Good Housekeeping - Part 1
Caring for your old building's historic fittings, fixtures and furnishings


Recording of the online talk presented by Trusted Conservators for the SPAB for Maintenance Week (November 2021).
Pay-to-view recorded lecture, available until 28 February 2022
£12 per person - full price
£5 per person - student 

OR click here to buy access to the full event (lectures x 3) for £30 per person / £12 per person - student


For a limited time only, catch up on the recorded talks from the SPAB and Icon (The Institute of Conservation) autumn 2021 online event for Maintenance Week - an introduction to good housekeeping for old houses and other buildings. These well-received talks introduce the wide range of biological, physical and chemical threats to interiors, and cover a wide range of interior elements, features and objects grouped together as hard and soft surfaces.

Viewing of the ‘Agents of Deterioration’ recorded talk is recommended for those interested in the Good Housekeeping - Part 2 online event on 21 February 2022.


Expert speakers specialising in different aspects of historic interiors discuss materials and objects found in old buildings and offer practical advice on their care and presentation.

Speakers focus on regular care, with tips on checking condition, spotting problems, protective and preventative measures to slow deterioration, safe cleaning techniques, materials and tools. Presentations focus on historic and vintage elements and objects, but the principles explored will also be relevant to more contemporary fixtures and contents. 

Starting with an introduction to the wide range of biological, physical and chemical threats to interiors (agents of deterioration), the sessions that follow cover a wide range of interior elements, features and objects grouped together as hard and soft surfaces

These introductory talks will appeal to building owners and users, volunteers caring for historic buildings and their contents (including buildings open to visitors or used by the public) and others with an interest in historic interiors. 



Talk #1
Agents of Deterioration: understanding temperature, humidity, light, pests and pollution and how they affect interiors and objects. Presented online by Katy Lithgow ACR for the SPAB (November 2021).

Talk #2
Hard Surfaces: caring for floors (stone, tile, wood), plain and decorative glass, windows and mirrors. Presented online by Helen Lloyd ACR for the SPAB (November 2021).

Talk #3
Soft Surfaces: caring for carpets and rugs, tapestries and wall hangings, curtains and upholstery. Presented online by Ksynia Marko ACR and Heather Porter ACR for the SPAB (November 2021).


The contributors are all accredited (ACR) members of the Institute of Conservation (ICON), the professional body for conservator-restorers in the UK.  All are professional conservators with extensive knowledge and experience of the care of objects, collections and historic interiors, who have led conservation activities across the National Trust. They now work together in the practice Trusted Conservators: a network of experienced conservators who provide consultancy, advisory and conservation services to the heritage sector. 

Katy Lithgow ACR - former Head Conservator for the National Trust, Katy advises on wall paintings and historic interiors, the impact of climate change on collections and buildings, and preventive conservation. 


IT requirements: Please note that this is a recording of online lectures. You will be sent instructions on how to access the recording in a booking confirmation email. To participate, all you need is an internet connection, and a laptop, computer or phone with the ability to play video and audio.   


Accessibility: please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.


Booking Terms & Conditions



Image credit:

Annie Spratt, Unsplash

28th February 2022 7:55 PM through  8:00 PM
Virtual event: held online
United Kingdom
Event Fee(s)
Per Person £12.00
Student £5.00