Our plans to transform Knole

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Latest update 02.07.2013 11:05

We want to carry out works to the barn and Brewhouse Yard area of Knole as part of a long-term programme to repair and conserve the building and collection and to open new areas of the house to the public.

We have submitted detailed building plans to Sevenoaks District Council and would like comments on our proposals.

Subject to funding, we plan to convert the fifteenth-century barn from its present use (for garaging and storage), transforming it into a new, nationally-significant conservation studio. At the same time we will convert the next-door hayloft, never before opened to the public, for education, training and community use. This work will enable us to repair and conserve items from our collection and share that work with you while we improve the environmental conditions and presentation of the showrooms.

What does this mean for you?

You will be able to access the conservation studio from the Brewhouse Courtyard and will see, up close, the work of our conservation team. We will carry out textile, furniture and painting conservation and will invite conservators from other specialisms to work here. You will also be able to try out conservation techniques and take part in conservation events.

After an 1887 fire in which the barn lost its original, pitched, tiled roof, the existing flat roof with masonry crenellations was installed. We plan to restore the appearance of the original, medieval, pitched and tiled roof. This will give further space in the barn so we can insert an extra floor (at the level of the former hayloft floor) to give vital space for the studio.

More space for you to enjoy

At the same time we plan to extend our café facilities. A new, single-storey building will wrap around the north and east walls of the Brewhouse Courtyard, with outdoor seating in the centre and on the roof of the new structure. We will also put seats in the attic space of the Brewhouse. As well as the new, main servery and kitchen, the new Brewhouse Café will also have a fast-service point for hot drinks and snacks.

These plans, which have the full support of Lord Sackville, are an exciting start to the transformation of Knole through a series of building, refurbishment, conservation and community schemes over the next five years.

Our architects are Rodney Melville & Partners. You can view details and comment on our plans at Sevenoaks District Council Planning or find out more about our plans on the Our Work and Projects pages of our website.