STAFF spruced up chandeliers and polished priceless statues as the annual deep clean of one of Britain's most cherished stately homes got underway.

A team of experts have started the spring cleaning season early at Blenheim Palace as they got the visitor attraction back to its best.

This year visitors are being offered the chance to see what goes into conserving the 300-year-old World Heritage Site in Woodstock.

Kate Ballenger, house manager at the palace, said: “Each year, when the palace is usually closed, the operations team, accompanied by various specialists, complete the ‘deep clean’.

“This process is much more than just cleaning, it is the careful review of the entire collection followed by a thorough cleaning programme alongside the ongoing conservation and restoration work.

“This tour of the palace gives insights into both the deep clean and the conservation and restoration that is happening at present and has happened in the past.”

Each room of the palace is carefully stripped of its priceless pieces of history and vacuumed from the ceiling to the floor.

The floors of the palace are then cleaned and polished, while a team of specialists get to work on carefully cleaning each artefact before it is returned to the room.

The new tours will look at two important aspects of running the site – including restoring a piece of art, building or tapestry to its original condition, as well as the preservation and repair of the historical and cultural ground as well as its artefacts.

Visitors can see specific pieces being cleaned and restored – from statues and chandeliers to some of the most impactful projects, including The Eyes in 1928.

The tour will also examine the theme of renovation, exploring how Blenheim Palace modernises and remains as a family home.

The palace was built in the early 18th century to celebrate victory over the French at the Battle of Blenheim in the War of the Spanish Succession.

It is now home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

Tours will be taking place until February 28th, running twice per day excluding Sundays.

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