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Senior Collections & House Officer - Cranbrook

The National Trust
Cranbrook, Kent
25,662 pa
Closing date
18 May 2022
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Job Details

Senior Collections & House Officer - Cranbrook


Are you a proven manager of collections or houses? Can you bring your conservation knowledge to this close-knit team? We need someone who can champion excellent collections care and visitor welcome and volunteer management.

This role is a short-term secondment opportunity until 30th September 2022 backfilling for a maternity cover. 

*Internal Applicants only*

Our colleagues work for the National Trust in many locations and sometimes don't have easy access to internal vacancy listings. Using the internet ensures we can reach as many of our colleagues as possible. We appreciate that this can be frustrating for external talent. Do note that some roles are released externally after an initial period of time.

What it's like to work here

Sissinghurst Castle is a beautiful home set within the internationally renowned garden created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. The Collections and House Team are responsible for the care of one of the largest libraries in the National Trust and an eclectic range of objects belonging to Vita and Harold. The collection spaces are found within the remnants of a once vast Elizabethan manor and include the Long Library, Writing Room, South Cottage and the Gazebo. The dispersal of the collection spaces across the garden creates both curatorial challenges and opportunities. A strong team spirit and collaborative working environment is key to the success of Sissinghurst and we are looking for a flexible, creative colleague.

The working pattern includes working every third weekend.

Click here for more information about this location

What you'll be doing

As the senior lead of the House Team, you’ll manage a team of Collections & House Officers, Collections Assistants, and volunteers to implement preventive conservation and cleaning programmes in the house to ensure excellent standards of care, delivering strategies to improve conservation. You’ll be responsible for the planning and implementation of conservation projects, collections care, and the daily opening of the house. You'll ensure appropriate resources are in place to provide a consistent and excellent visitor experience.

You'll collect and accurately record information to inform our understanding of the house and the collection and use preventive conservation techniques to improve how we conserve, interpret and present the property. Leading by example you’ll ensure a culture of excellent customer care, engaging our visitors with conservation and the values and behaviours of the National Trust.

Who we're looking for

  • Previous experience in operations, particularly opening a historic property with a significant and complex collection to the public
  • Good understanding of, and experience in, preventive conservation and applying conservation standards
  • Previous experience looking after historic interiors and the fabric of a historically significant building
  • Previous experience leading or managing a volunteer team
  • Previous experience in managing budgets/ understanding of good cost controls
  • Experience of working to a deadline, to a budget and having worked with stakeholders to deliver a piece work
  • A good understanding of the importance of compliance including previous experience managing compliance tasks and producing risk assessments.

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

Wherever you’re from, and whatever your background, we want to hear from you – and it doesn’t matter if you’re jam first, cream first, or even if you don’t like scones at all. Everyone is welcome.

Benefits for working at the National Trust include:

  • Flexible working whenever possible
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Free entry to our properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.


The National Trust is committed to promoting and preserving those places of natural beauty and historic interest for which it has the privilege to be responsible for the benefit of the nation, for everyone for ever.

The Trust is proud of what has been achieved over the last 126 years and is determined to maintain those high standards of conservation, stewardship and curatorial care for which it has been recognised throughout the world.

Its achievements have enabled the general public and the Trust’s members and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside, coastline, gardens, historic buildings and collections, all of which encapsulate so much of the history of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a duty to tell that history in a complete, balanced and accurate way, and without judgement.

The National Trust continues as a guardian of the past, and for the future, to uphold its duty to maintain and enhance what has been entrusted to its care.

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