Archive for the ‘Heritage Lottery Fund’ Category

Good news for Knole

August 1, 2013
Conservator removing dust from the headcloth of the state bed in the Venetian Amabassador's Room at Knole. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

Conservator removing dust from the headcloth of the state bed in the Venetian Amabassador’s Room at Knole. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has just announced a £7.75 million grant to help secure the multi-year conservation project currently underway at Knole.

The state bed with its related suite of furniture in the Venetian Ambassador's Room. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The state bed with its related suite of furniture in the Venetian Ambassador’s Room. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The first phase or repairs to the fabric of the building is complete and, with the HLF’s support, the focus can now move to the interiors and contents of this Tudor palace.

Detail of headboard and headcloth of the state bed in the Venetian Ambassador's Room, with a Netherlandish tapestry behind it. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

Detail of headboard and headcloth of the state bed in the Venetian Ambassador’s Room, with a Netherlandish tapestry behind it. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

As part of the project a bespoke and state of the art conservation studio will be created at Knole. Visitors will be able to watch the conservators at work and the studio will offer conservation and heritage-related training courses.

Conservator taking apart the bed in the Venetian Ambassador's Room. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

Conservator taking apart the bed in the Venetian Ambassador’s Room. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

Alongside the conservation work, the funding will also allow us to create stable environmental conditions in the rooms on show to the public. In addition we will open up previously unseen rooms and create improved visitor facilities.

Detail of the headboard, with James II's monogram, on the state bed in the Venetian Ambassador's Room.  ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

Detail of the headboard, with James II’s monogram, on the state bed in the Venetian Ambassador’s Room. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

Among the objects at Knole to be safeguarded and shown to better advantage are the extraordinary sixteenth- and seventeenth-century state beds. The bed shown here, in the Venetian Ambassador’s Room, was originally made for King James II in 1688.

The carved and gilded feet of the bed in the Venetian Ambassador's Room. The 'JR monogram stands for 'James Rex'. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

The carved and gilded feet of the bed in the Venetian Ambassador’s Room. The ‘JR monogram stands for ‘James Rex’. ©National Trust Images/David Levenson

The bed was given to Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset (1638-1706), who was Chamberlain to the household of King William III and Queen Mary II. As a perquisite of his office the 6th Earl was allowed to dispose of furniture from the royal palaces when they were deemed to be out of date, and this is how the collection of magnificent Stuart furniture came to Knole.

Knole’s big project one step further

May 18, 2012

Late-seventeenth-century mirror, its ebonised frame inlaid with pierced gilt brass chased with acanthus patterns, one of a pair, probably English, in the Cartoon Gallery at Knole. The pilasters with grotesque decoration are topped by ram’s masks, the old crest of the Sackville family. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has just announced that the Inspired by Knole project qualifies for a ‘first round pass’. This means that the HLF is recognising the project’s potential, and that the Knole team can now develop a detailed business plan for it.

The Cartoon Gallery. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The aim of Inspired by Knole is to improve the state of conservation of the house and its collections ad to put it on the map as one of the UK’s most spectacular examples of  a combined Tudor palace and Renaissance mansion.

Trompe l’oeil grotesque decoration in the Cartoon Gallery, probably created by Paul Isaacson in about 1608 for Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset. ©National Trust Images/Matthew Hollow

Plans for the project include the rewiring of the building, the installation of conservation heating and the creation of an on-site conservation studio which will be open to visitors.

Painted motif of a vase with a small lemon tree or branch in the frieze of the Cartoon Gallery, probably by Paul Isaacson, c. 1608. ©National Trust Images/Matthew Hollow

In addition the Knole team wants to open up more of the attics and tower rooms to the public, to develop new ways of volunteering and to make Knole a centre of heritage skills training.

Gilt table and candlestands in the Cartoon Gallery, thought to have been given to Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset, by Louis XIV in 1670-71. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The HLF will make its final decision about the £7.5 million grant application in 2013, but this initial response is very encouraging and will help the National Trust with its other fundraising towards Inspired by Knole.

The ongoing behind-the-scenes work at Knole can be followed on the Knole Conservation Team Blog.

Towards an outdoor nation

November 5, 2010

The south front of Croome Court seen across the lake. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

The National Trust has started a project called Outdoor Nation to examine the British public’s relationship with the outdoors.

Visitor walking in the park, with a view to the church, designed by Brown to act as an eye-catcher. ©NTPL/Arnhel de Serra

Have we lost touch with nature? What benefits do we get from being outdoors that we cannot get through other experiences?

The Rotunda. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

Croome Court, in Worcestershire, is a great example of a designed landscape that allows people to reconnect with nature.

©NTPL/David Noton

It was created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown during the second half of the eighteenth century for George William Coventry, later the sixth Earl of Coventry.

The icehouse - evocative, but obviously in need of restoration. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

Croome established Brown’s reputation as the creator of the new English landscape style garden. Robert Adam and James Wyatt also contributed various garden buildings.

Urn by Robert Adam, park by Lancelot Brown, sky stylist's own. ©NTPL/David Noton

In the 1940s an RAF airbase was built on the estate, and in 1948 the house was sold off. In 1996 the National Trust acquired the heart of the estate, with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and began to restore the landscape.

©NTPL/David Noton

The house has recently been acquired by the Croome Heritage Trust, which is working with the National Trust to allow visitors to experience Croome as a whole once again.


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