Knole

The west front of Knole, seen in sunshine in Kent's medieval deer park © John Miller

The west front of Knole, seen in sunshine in Kent's medieval deer park

A big thank you

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported our work at Knole over the last few years.

Since the appeal launched in 2012 we have managed to raise an amazing £2 million thanks to your help. Last year over £450,000 was from the appeal alone.

The money so far has been put to good use on the exterior of the main building, helping us make the roof and walls watertight and to repair many of the windows but there’s still much more to do.

What you've helped us do, so far...

The east front of Knole © John Miller

The east front of Knole

Outside Knole
If you visit Knole today, you’ll notice large parts of the building are still behind scaffolding and that’s a sign of the work that is underway and the tremendous amount still to do. The exterior work is due to be finished this year and then we’ll be into our second phase of conservation, tackling the interior structure and the collection itself. This phase is expected to last until 2019 so there’s a lot to be done.

What you've helped us do, so far...

One of the Tower bedrooms at Knole, which we hope to open in 2015 © John Millar

One of the Tower bedrooms at Knole, which we hope to open in 2015

Inside Knole
Back in early 2012 Knole was not a nice place to be on a wet winter’s day. Water seeped in from unexpected places, buckets dotted the floor catching stray drips and cold draughts swirled along the galleries.
But when we reach the end of our first phase of conservation work early this year all this will change thanks to your help.

Visiting during the works

During the programme, we will:

  • Keep the Showrooms open to visitors (wherever possible)
  • Remove the collections from the Showrooms, sending most to the new studios to be conserved
  • Peel back some wall coverings and floorboards, recording what we find and refurbishing the rooms
  • Reveal to visitors the construction of Knole, a hugely complex building which has never been fully investigated
  • Present each room in a new way as it is emptied, to give visitors new experiences and insights into Knole

Why we still need your help

Textiles in the Spangled Bedroom at Knole 

Textiles in the Spangled Bedroom at Knole

The Conservation Studio
Our second phase of work will take place between 2014 and 2019. It will begin with the construction of our conservation studio, which will give us space to begin work on the internal structure and the house collection as well as providing a unique new experience for visitors.
During this period we’ll also begin opening up new areas of the house to visitors and in our final phase (2019 and beyond) we’ll be able to display some of the long-term conservation projects such as the state beds, which each take years to restore.

Why we still need your help

We’ve still got a lot of work to do in some of the rooms at Knole 

We’ve still got a lot of work to do in some of the rooms at Knole

Work on the main rooms at Knole
Inside the main building, the show rooms will continue to undergo restoration and conservation work – from basics like rewiring to bigger changes like installing conservation heating for the artworks and textiles. We’ll also be replacing and mending ceiling panels and flooring as well as continuing to work on the collection itself.
Lastly, some of the rooms will be altered quite significantly to reflect their historic use or layout and we’ll be opening up new areas such as the long gallery, the attic, servant spaces and the Gatehouse Tower.