Ongoing work in the house

Conservation in Dyrham house

Dyrham Park's 300+ year-old house underwent a huge conservation project in 2015/16 to replace the leaking roof, now we've turned our attention inside.

Over the past few years and the coming years, it's been all change in Dyrham Park's grand house.

Built by colonial administrator William Blathwayt in the late 17th-century, the house has been through many guises - from the Blathwayt era treasure trove filled with Dutch-influenced items, some of which remain, to the revamped 1920s era under tenant Lady Islington, where a lot of the original features were painted and papered over.

When the National Trust took the house on in the 1950s, a team of conservators set to work on presenting the rooms and collection for public viewing. This continued until 2015/16 when the entire contents of the upper floors had to be removed to enable builders and crafts people to replace the leaking roof. The leaks were threatening the house and collection and this urgent work has helped safeguard the future of both for another 150 years.

Conservation in action

Once the scaffolding was down in the summer of 2016, we turned our attentions inside and looked at how we might best tell the story of Blathwayt's Dyrham Park. "We didn't simply want to put everything back where it was," said House and Collections Manager Eilidh Auckland.

"People were so interested in the re-roofing, learning all about this mammoth conservation task and, during this time, we offered conservation tours and events to share with people how we care for the collection. There was a lot of interest in this and, as the nation's biggest conservation charity, we want to continue sharing this."