Dyrham Park Rework'd

Project

Work is underway on an ambitious site-wide project to restore, revitalise and reimagine Dyrham Park.

The project, called Dyrham Park Rework'd, aims to create an engaging and meaningful journey into the 17th century while giving people more space to park, eat, shop and play. 

When the coronavirus pandemic took hold, project work had to stop and some of the plans are paused for the time being. However, many elements of the project are now underway again.

Basement

Work is now complete in the basement which included the creation of a new exhibition space in rooms never open to the public before as well as heating, draft-proofing and the re-location of the second hand bookshop. The bookshop is open and the exhibition opened to the public in December 2021. 

Revitalised house

In January 2022, work on the main house started again and the main house closed until early April while conservation and decorative work took place. Work is continuing with a small selection of rooms open again on the ground and first floor.

The new exhibition and basement are also open. Ultimately, the house will have restored historic rooms, a tasting kitchen and a conservation studio.

Both main staircases have been re-stabilised and restored, key rooms are being redecorated to the original 17th century design and lighting updated throughout the house to showcase Dyrham's collections.

Georgian chandelier being rehung in Dyrham Park's Great Hall
Chandelier being rehung in Dyrham Park's Great Hall by chandelier expert
Georgian chandelier being rehung in Dyrham Park's Great Hall

Two Georgian chandeliers, which had been in safe storage since work started on the roof project in 2014, have now been electrified and rehung in the Great Hall. The hall's walls have been re-grained to look like historic oak.

Work is taking place on the 'secret' passage that links the house to the village church.

" We want to make the rooms sing. We’re working to create that magic and to ignite a special connection between our visitors and this place. The highly-skilled conservation work on the stairs has restored them with a renewed depth, richness and beauty which reflects the age, quality and significance of the house. We look forward to re-presenting the rest of the house in this way."
- Georgiana Hockin, Visitor Experience Consultant

West Gates

Dyrham Park's West Gates being reinstalled at the end of the Avenue
Specialists reinstalling the West Garden at the end of Dyrham Park's garden
Dyrham Park's West Gates being reinstalled at the end of the Avenue

The historic wrought iron gates at the end of the Avenue have been brought back to life having been repaired and restored off site. Significant work was also carried out to the adjoining railings and surrounding stonework. The gates connected the estate with Dyrhan village and guests would have got their first glimpse of the house through the gateway as they approached in horse and carriage.

Garden plans

Although currently paused, 17th-century elements are also being brought to life in the garden. One of the main areas of transformation will be that of the West Terrace with its 17th-century layout of parterre, topiary and paving creating a striking approach to the house.

Parkland

Progress is being made on a series of all-weather walking routes around the parkland. These paths will give visitors all year round access to the parkland, which has been difficult in the winter months in the past when waterlogging left the limestone-rich grassland sensitive to damage.

Old Lodge

A revamp of the play area at Old Lodge with the addition of new toilets and catering there is also underway. The area is currently closed and due to open later in the summer of 2022.

Better facilities

Other elements, including designs for a new car park, visitor welcome building and a new restaurant are under review and our architects are restarting the design process so the construction of new facilities can follow on from the current work.

Plans

Work is being carefully planned to allow Dyrham Park to stay open throughout the period of works. Wherever possible, work will be carried out in view of visitors. When areas are out of bounds, alternative spaces will be open and there will always be people to talk to and information in place so visitors feel part of the journey.

Senior Project Manager Tim Cambourne said: 'We're delighted that, after being on hold for the best part of a year and a half, elements of the programme of the work have re-started and plans are progessing for other parts. As well as being able to comfortably cater for visitors, the project is allowing us to revitalise the experience for people coming to Dyrham.'

Funds

The work so far has been funded through central funds and fundraising as well as donations and grants from individuals and charitable trusts including The David Webster Charitable Trust, The Medlock Charitable Trust and The Wolfson Foundation. A recent grant provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's Culture Recovery Fund and support from Little Greene covered much of the costs of the West Gates, the church passage and the decorative works in the house. Funding for the work in the house has also been given by the Royal Oak Foundation, an American organisation set up to raise money to support the work of the National Trust.

Much of the infrastructure work is due to be funded through a loan that will be paid back through the additional income generated through the new facilities.

Timeline

Please note the timeline was affected by significant changes and delays in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest updates

01 Aug 22

Old Lodge and parkland route due to finish

The work started in the autumn of 2021 and is expected to finish in summer 2022.

08 Nov 21

Main house work and updates started

Phased work in the main part of the house started, including the regraining of the Great Hall which will bring the rich and luxurious look of the original woodwork back to life.

Chandelier being rehung in Dyrham Park's Great Hall by chandelier expert

01 Mar 20

Work is completed on the Old Staircase

Work to redecorate and re-grain the Old Staircase is completed.

The completed Old Staircase at Dyrham Park