Plan your visit

Emma Schmuecker, Conservation Studio Manager Emma Schmuecker Conservation Studio Manager
The interior of the Conservation Studio at Knole

The Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio is the first of its kind in the National Trust, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to watch conservators working on objects from collections across the National Trust.

Housed in a beautiful medieval barn, this state-of-the-art space is the only conservation studio at a National Trust property open to the public. It is a perfect mix of contemporary and historical: an airy, open-plan studio with exposed Kentish ragstone walls punctuated by the barn’s original narrow windows.

The studio is accessed from the Brewhouse Café courtyard. A striking glass and metal staircase rises from the light-filled lobby to the floors above with the original pitched barn roof clearly visible. 

The first floor is home to the conservation store, a humidity-controlled space containing historic items awaiting their turn on the conservator’s bench. 

Although the windows have been blacked out to prevent light contamination, visitors have the unique opportunity to see inside using a timed light switch that illuminates the room for short periods. 

An interactive approach

The main conservation studio is on the second floor – a stunning 35-metre open-plan room with a soaring pitched roof, rebuilt to match the 15th century original destroyed by fire in 1887. 

Visitors on a guided tour of the conservation studio
A group of visitors taking a guided tour of the conservation studio
Visitors on a guided tour of the conservation studio

Step inside the main studio area to watch conservators at work. Interactive displays give visitors the chance to explore the materials, tools and techniques used by conservators.

Conservators use every sense in their work and other hands-on displays explain how the five senses are integral to working out treatment plans. 

When the studio is open volunteers are on-hand to answer questions and share stories about objects being conserved. 

Visiting Knole House and Park

The conservation studio is just one part of the history, art and nature you can immerse yourself in at Knole. For more details about visiting Knole and to find out what’s on please follow the link below.