Future of historic treasures now secure as National Trust opens doors to new conservation studio at Knole

  • The charity’s conservation specialists will work on precious paintings, furniture and decorative objects in front of visitors 
  • State of the art conservation studio is part of largest building and conservation  project in National Trust’s history 
  • Historic rooms at Knole re-open following work to transform the interiors and bring collections to life 
  • Supported by a major National Lottery grant of £7.75m

A new state of the art conservation studio has opened its doors for the first time at one of the country’s largest and most famous stately homes, securing the future of hundreds of historic objects for the nation. Continue reading

PICTURES: New Lake District exhibition celebrates dying nature words

A new photography exhibition at the childhood home of Lake District poet William Wordsworth celebrates the dying dialect words for Britain’s landscape.

The Word-Hoard: Love letters to our land, which opens at the National Trust’s Wordsworth House in Cockermouth tomorrow (11 March), has been guest-curated by award-winning nature writer Robert Macfarlane. It follows his 2015 bestseller Landmarks, which explored the regional dialect words connected to nature, terrain and weather.

The exhibition brings together some of Macfarlane’s favourite dialect nature words alongside 25 photographs of the British landscape by the author’s parents, Rosamund and John Macfarlane.

Watergaw

Watergaw (Rainbow, Scots). Photograph shows the view from Watergate, Lowestwater, towards Crummock Water (Lake District). Credit: Rosamund & John Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane, who teaches English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, said: “I spent two years gathering as many of our place-terms and nature-words as possible, from more than thirty languages and dialects around Britain and Ireland, and then releasing them back into imaginative circulation.

“Without words, the landscape can easily become a blandscape: generalised, indifferent, unobserved.”

The words in Macfarlane’s ‘hoard’ include shreep, an East Anglian word for mist clearing slowly, and sun-scald, a Sussex word for a patch of bright sunlight on water.

The Word-Hoard will be open daily, except Friday, until 3 September, and admission is included in entry to the house and garden.

For more see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworth-house.

National Trust launches international design competition for Clandon Park

  • Initiative will bring new life to Clandon Park, the National Trust’s Grade I listed Palladian house, near Guildford in south-east England, which suffered a major fire in April 2015
  • High profile project to restore and reimagine this widely admired architectural masterwork has a £30m construction value
  • Architect-led teams asked to submit details of project understanding, proposed team and relevant experience at the competition’s first stage – deadline 21 April 2017
  • Five or more finalists who reach the second stage will create concept designs that integrate a sensitive restoration of some of the principal state rooms with new flexible spaces in the upper floors which encourage and inspire imaginative programming
  • Jury to be chaired by Sandy Nairne CBE FSA, National Trust Board of Trustees member, and former director of the National Portrait Gallery

South front and formal garden at Clandon Park, Surrey. The house was built between 1724 and 1729 and was designed by Giacomo Leoni.

The National Trust and Malcolm Reading Consultants today [9 March 2017] launched the global search for a world-class multidisciplinary design team to restore and reimagine Clandon Park, the Trust’s Grade l listed, 18th-century Palladian house, near Guildford, which suffered a major fire two years ago.

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Ahead of the curve: innovative 19th century curved glasshouse is restored to its former glory

A rare example of a 19th century curvilinear glasshouse has been restored at the National Trust’s Quarry Bank in Cheshire after a year-long restoration project.

The original Quarry Bank Glasshouse. Credit Quarry Bank Archive.

The 1820s glasshouse was built to supply the owners of Quarry Bank mill, the Greg family, with tender fruit of the time, such as grapes and peaches. Its innovative design and use of modern technology sent a clear message to guests about the Gregs’ financial success and position in society.

Although the conservation charity acquired the 18th century cotton mill in 1939, it was only in 2010 that the kitchen garden was acquired by the Trust. The jewel in the crown of this walled garden was the severely damaged curvilinear glasshouse, a name given to the structure because of its unique curved roof.

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New research lands Victorian fin whale discovery at Cotehele

A giant jawbone in a Cornish stately home has at last been found to be from a Victorian fin whale – thanks to a mixture of cutting edge DNA analysis and archival research.

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Acting house and collections manager Nick Stokes with the whale bones at Cotehele, Cornwall. (c) Steven Haywood / National Trust Images

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VIDEO: Lamb born at height of Storm Doris ‘doing well’, says shepherd

A rare breed lamb born at Sutton Hoo last week as Storm Doris gusted over Britain is ‘doing well’, says the National Trust shepherd who helped with her birth.

The Manx loaghtan lamb, who was born in the early hours of Friday morning at the historic Suffolk site, was christened ‘Doris’ by rangers from the conservation charity.

Doris the lamb, born last week at Sutton Hoo. (c) National Trust

Doris the lamb, born last week at Sutton Hoo. (c) Sarah Haile/National Trust

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UPDATE: Rangers begin clearing up after Storm Doris

National Trust rangers and gardeners have spent the morning cleaning up after Storm Doris forced more than fifty National Trust places to close yesterday.

The storm which saw up to 90mph gusting over the countryside toppled trees at the conservation charity’s gardens and parks across England – including a 200 year old oak tree on the historic Vyne estate in Hampshire.

Fifty one National Trust places took the decision to close to the public yesterday. They included Arlington Court in Devon and Kedleston Hall, near Derby.

Although the storm is predicted to blow itself out by the end of the week, people planning to visit their local National Trust property are urged to check www.nationaltrust.org.uk for any updates on continued closures

High winds brought down a 200 year old oak tree at The Vyne, Hampshire, yesterday afternoon. The Tudor estate had taken the precautionary step of closing to visitors.

At Bickerton Hill, Cheshire, rangers have spent the morning removing a large oak tree and smaller conifers that had smashed into the estate’s access road.

Jon Twigg, Area Ranger for the National Trust in Cheshire, said: “It will probably be next week before we know the full scale of the damage at our sites in the Wirral.”

Trees have also been toppled at Morden Hall Park, south London, Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, and Killerton, near Exeter.

And at Woolacombe, north Devon, the storms left jellyfish stranded on the beach.

Elsewhere the storms brought more welcome news. A rare breed lamb born last night at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, has been christened ‘Doris’ by rangers.

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Doris the lamb. Credit: National Trust

Andrew Cappell, a National Trust shepherd with 36 years’ experience, said: “Doris will be spending her first day in a pen so we can make sure she’s well, but then she’ll be out greeting visitors to Sutton Hoo over the next few weeks.

“I’ll be down at Sutton Hoo tomorrow morning to make sure she’s got a full belly. And if the weather’s fine we’ll introduce her to the rest of the flock.”