The Great Store
Knole's showrooms re-opened to visitors on Saturday 5 March and there is something extra special and unique in-store. For one year only, the Great Hall has been transformed into a glittering treasure trove, housing some of Knole's most extraordinary objects.
The Great Store is a temporary home for some of the collection's finest portraits and most historic pieces of furniture, before the items are moved to Knole's new conservation studio (opening winter 2016).
This is an exciting opportunity for visitors to see key pieces of Knole’s collection up close for the first time. Marvel at the beautiful detail and impressive craftsmanship of these precious items, ranging from day beds to torchères and even a royal close stool!
It is also a chance to admire objects that are often missed during a visit to Knole's vast showrooms. For example, the ebony cabinet from the King’s Room is often overlooked, in the shadow of the room’s glittering golden furniture.
Now taking pride of place in the Great Store, the cabinet has been opened so visitors can see the beautiful interior decoration with its many compartments for the first time. It is in this cabinet that Vita Sackville-West hid secret notes when she was a little girl living at Knole.
Other items in the Great Store collection include extraordinary gilded and silvered furniture gifted by King Louis XIV; a 17th century Russia leather coffer with exceptional engraved brass ornaments; and an impressive collection of portraits by renowned artist Joshua Reynolds.
Conservation work at Knole
The Great Store will team crucial conservation work with unprecedented public access to this special collection. Knole’s conservation team have been hard at work over the winter, carefully moving the collection from the second half of the house into the Great Store.
Having the store in the Great Hall will enable them to continue with their programme of conservation work on the showroom interiors, without the threat of any damage to the precious and fragile collection.
The Great Store is the latest instalment in a five-year, £19.8million building and conservation project, in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will restore the beautiful building and protect its interiors and collection.
Visit Knole this year and witness a place full of treasures at a momentous time in its history. Keep an eye on our events page for behind-the-scenes tours and up-close sessions with expert curators and conservators, who will offer insight into the objects on display and ongoing conservation work.
The Great Store will be open to visitors from Saturday 5 March until Sunday 30 October.