Estate office

Before smartphones and the internet...

Explore office life before smartphones and the internet at Knole in Kent © Veronica Walker-Smith

Explore office life before smartphones and the internet at Knole in Kent

Just inside the first courtyard at Knole, we've opened a new free-entry interactive space: the former Knole estate office.  Imagine life before computers and the internet; discover what an early photocopier looks like, or how people used adding machines when we still used pre-decimal money.  Sample our oral history interviews: delightful memories of life at Knole in a bygone era.  Open 8 Mar to 21 Dec 2014.

A family of estate workers at Knole

Mending chimneys and clearing snow were all in a day's work at Knole © Alan Grubb

Mending chimneys and clearing snow were all in a day's work at Knole

The Estate Office audio experience offers memories of workmen, maids, cooks and bread delivery boys who've shared their early 20th century stories with us.  Discover how the large Knole Estate was, and how this family of workers turned their hands to 'almost everything'.  Our exhibition is open from 8 Mar to 21 Dec, Tuesday - Sunday.

13 years of conservation work

A cake with edible replica state bed marked of 13 years conservation work   © Jenny Wright

A cake with edible replica state bed marked of 13 years conservation work

Volunteers who worked for 13 years conserving the King's Bed have also shared their photo albums with us, including this picture of the celebratory cake to mark the project's completion - with a replica bed made of marzipan and icing sugar.  These are just some of the heart-warming stories we've gathered from those who've had a Knole connection in the last hundred years.  Have a listen to some snippets on this page.

Find out how the King's Bed was conserved

Running free in the attics

The retainers gallery at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent © John  Miller

The retainers gallery at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent

Come in and listen to a range of recorded memories, including Lord Sackville's, about growing up and running about freely in the attics at Knole.

If you would like to get involved in our oral history project – if you have a memory, or would like to help with interviewing, editing or research, or know someone who had a connection to Knole – just email or ring us on 01732 462100.

Why 2013's been so memorable for Knole

The biggest conservation project for the Trust to date

The biggest conservation project for the Trust to date

The Trust's biggest conservation project so far

Senior Project Manager Richard Hill leads the Inspired by Knole project

Senior Project Manager Richard Hill leads the Inspired by Knole project

In July 2013, Knole won its Heritage Lottery Fund bid and received matching funds from the National Trust, to spend a total of £19.7 million on conserving the property and its fragile showroom for future generations. Recalling its size and complexity, senior project manager Richard Hill explains the context of this, the most ambitious conservation project by the Trust, to date.

Dedicated to the past

Dedicated volunteers conserving the state bed for James II at Knole

Dedicated volunteers conserving the state bed for James II at Knole

Listen...

A bed of silver and gold

A bed of silver and gold

With thanks to...

The Heritage Lottery Fund have kindly donated towards the project

The 'Hidden Histories' project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mary Ann Crane was one of 9 cooks under a French chef at Knole

Mary Ann Crane was one of 9 cooks under a French chef at Knole

Mary Ann's daughter, Kay Stratford, now 99, has shared her memories of her mother's life at Knole.

Share