Behind the Stage

A brand new experience for visitors

Join us ‘Behind the Stage’ at Plas Newydd and discover more about the life-changing events and work that have shaped this charismatic house along the banks of the Menai Strait.

This summer, a brand new experience will welcome visitors to the house at Plas Newydd.  With the essential rewiring and plumbing work happening safely behind the scenes, our visitors are invited to discover more about the past, present and future work to safeguard and conserve the house.

Carefully stored and covered items can be seen on display in the Music Room.
Items have been carefully stored and covered in the Music Room at Plas Newydd.
Carefully stored and covered items can be seen on display in the Music Room.

Like all houses, Plas Newydd has been through several changes over the years.  From the flamboyant extravagance of the 5th Marquess, converting a chapel into a theatre, to the more practical changes brought about by the 6th Marquess and the Marchioness in the 1930s; including the addition of modern plumbing and central heating.

Today, the house is undergoing a major refit of all the essential services, just as it did over 70 years ago.  With teams of specialist contractors on site for the next 2 years, it will be the biggest upheaval to the house since the 1930s.

A new experience

From 20 July, we’ll be transforming the way in which our visitors experience the house. Delving into family history and archives shared with us by The Marquess of Anglesey, and working together with architects, vPPR, an award-winning team based in London. 

Part of the the Behind the Stage experience in the Gothick Hall.
A film of the Butterfly Dance in the Gothick Hall at Plas Newydd.
Part of the the Behind the Stage experience in the Gothick Hall.

Known for their bold designs, vPPR have previously worked on exhibitions and spaces at the V&A museum, White Cube gallery in London and Novosibirsk Airport in Russia amongst others. Their work has been highly commended world-wide and we’re pleased to be working together with them on this project.  

Tatiana von Preussen, Director of vPPR explains what inspired them to work on this project at Plas Newydd.

" This will be the National Trust's biggest conservation project in Wales and the largest work to the house since the 1930s.  Most of the work will be hidden behind the walls and floors, the 'scenery' of this amazing house, and we are excited to peel back these layers and explain the immense amount of work that goes into a project like this."
- Tatiana von Preussen

The evolution of the house

As the reservicing project continues into 2020 and beyond, the experience will also highlight the difficulties faced by our own House and Collections team at Plas Newydd, both during the period of reservicing work and in the years that follow.

The Saloon at Plas Newydd divided in two as part of the Behind the Stage experience.
The Saloon at Plas Newydd divided in two as part of the Behind the Stage experience.
The Saloon at Plas Newydd divided in two as part of the Behind the Stage experience.

Taya Drake, House and Collections Manager at Plas Newydd said that ‘the work being undertaken in the house is a huge project; moving and protecting all collection items and decorative interiors in some way.  A project of this scale doesn’t happen very often in the lifetime of a house this size. Rather than closing our doors as the work is progressing, we wanted to use this as an opportunity to share the project and the continuing story of the house with our visitors.’

Behind the Stage opens on Saturday 20 July and runs until the house closes on 3 November 2019.  It will re-open again for the new season in Spring 2020.