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Six centuries of history in a treasure house going through vital repairs
Knole wears the marks of its long history with quiet dignity: dominating its medieval deer park, the house contains a world class collection of furniture and textiles from royal palaces, worn by light, time, damp and pests but still glinting in a series of state rooms evoking extraordinary wealth and grandeur, now passed and faded.
Built as a palace by the Archbishops of Canterbury, gifted to Henry VIII, remodelled by the Sackville family (who have lived here for 400 years), Knole is one of England’s most important and complete historic houses and the National Trust is committed to its survival.
To make the house watertight and weatherproof for the first time in centuries, we are carrying out a two-year programme of external repairs which have revealed secrets about Knole’s construction, exciting work which we will share with visitors in 2013.
While scaffolding covers the south front and sections of our courtyards, we want you to see as much of our work as possible, but we will cover some windows and may protect furniture and close certain rooms during 2013. Meanwhile, fundraising continues to help us carry out this vital work.
For a taste of the many facets of Knole, watch our visitor centre video
30 Apr - 2 June. Free. It is 100 years since Vita Sackville-West married Harold Nicolson in the chapel at Knole. Vita at Knole retells the story of her early life at Knole, the house she loved but could never inherit. This volunteer-curated event complements Sissinghurst's exhibition on VIta and Harold's lives together.
Since 2010, we've been recording people's memories of visiting, living and working at Knole, many since the turn of the 20th century. This year, you can discover these Hidden Histories in a new free-entry exhibition space: Knole's former estate office. Listen to excerpts from interviewees ranging from young skivvies to Lord Sackville, and discover how offices worked before the age of personal computers and the internet.
An outdoor adventure is always around the next tree, hedge, or hill at the deer park at Knole. And our list of 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ will set you on your own adventure here. Just ask the team at reception for more help and pointers when you arrive. Or join us at our 50 things tent on these Mondays: 29 Jul, 5, 12 & 19 Aug, 2 Sep & 28 Oct; 12noon-3pm.
Repairs to Knole
We've re-opened Lady Betty’s Bedroom and Sitting Room, which were closed during our external repairs on the roofs and pointing on the south side of the house. The conservation team are deep cleaning these pretty rooms before the furniture and pictures return.
Conservation in action
Help us make Knole watertight and weatherproof. Our £2.7m repair programme carries on until next year: we need your help to preserve this extraordinary house and its treasures for the next generation.
Come walking, whatever the weather
Knole has one of the most precious collections of furniture in the world, and looking after it is a big job. Read our blog to find out just how big.
Premises team blog
Our premises team consider themselves the luckiest team in the National Trust, managing Knole's buildings and parkland at a very exciting time for us.
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