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Shiny future at stately Oxburgh

PUBLISHED: 19:39 11 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:57 02 June 2010

Polishing the chandelier at Oxburgh.

Polishing the chandelier at Oxburgh.

There are 1162 pieces of glass in this stunning crystal chandelier. And every three years, staff at Oxburgh Hall have to clean every single one of them.

Polishing the chandelier at Oxburgh.

There are 1162 pieces of glass in this stunning crystal chandelier. And every three years, staff at Oxburgh Hall have to clean every single one of them.

Luckily for house steward Jess Marczewski, one of the National Trust's team dedicated to looking after the 15th Century moated manor house, it's only due to have its cups cleaned and a fresh set of bulbs this year.

But as the house closes to visitors for the winter, the real work begins with four months of cleaning and conservation work to look forward to.

Before the arduous tasks of cleaning ceilings, rolling up massive carpets to vacuum and dusting ancient furniture begins, the trust is putting on two special putting the house to bed tours, offering a flavour of what goes on when properties are closed.

“People like to know what goes on behind the scenes and this gives them the chance to see what happens when we're closed - it's the busiest time for us.

“There's so much to do, between now and the end of February the whole house has to be cleaned, from the ceilings to the floors and everything in between, that takes quite a lot of time.”

That includes the priest hole, dizzying spiral staircases and the top of the Tudor gatehouse, with panoramic views towards the Fens and Wissey Valley.

Oxburgh is among 10 National Trust properties to be chosen for a Sky TV series featuring some of Britain's best views. Narrated by Sir David Frost, High Definition Britain will be broadcast on Sky ArtsHD from tomorrow until December 14.

Other sites featured include the White Cliffs of Dover and Corfe castle, in Dorset. Viewers can vote for their favourite at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatestview and the result will be unveiled at a test screening to stressed out commuters at London's Paddington Station tomorrow.

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