Recent conservation projects

Tunneling through the Past: 'Below Stairs' restoration and Laundry education project (2015-2017)

In 2018, Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens will officially open over a dozen new, interactive spaces which have never been accessible to the public, thanks to a £1.3 million pounds grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve our servants quarters, bake house, butlers pantry and Laundry rooms. 

Find out more about this exciting project here.

Great Hall Re-Decoration (2015)

A four-month project was completed in 2015, to restore a significant example of interior decoration by John Fowler. Paint conservators were cleaning, repairing and restoring the paintwork in the Great Hall and South Stairs. The Great Hall was designed by James Gibbs in the early 18th century, decorated by former owner and society decorator Nancy Lancaster in the early 1930s, and subsequently redecorated by John Fowler in the 1950s.

The restoration of the Great Hall has been the subject of much discussion in recent years - in November 2012, Kelmarsh Hall Trustees invited a panel of experts to discuss the future of the Great Hall in front of an audience of interested parties. A decision was taken with the Local Authority’s Conservation Officer to conserve the current Nancy Lancaster/John Fowler scheme. The beautiful work carried out by the conservators can be seen on days when the hall is open to the general public.

Read more here.

Restoration of the Orangery (2014)

The formerly derelict 18th century Orangery on the grounds of the Hall has now been completely restored and was officially opened in December 2014, after building work commenced eight months earlier in April to restore the structure. The Orangery can be enjoyed by all the visitors to the Hall, as they journey through the gardens and as part of the landscape as they approach the east facade of the Hall

The Orangery was salvaged in 1954 by former Kelmarsh Hall owner Colonel CG Lancaster when Brixworth Hall was demolished, located under 10 miles away. When it was in-situ at Brixworth, it was listed on English Heritage’s National Monuments Record in 1945 and the Orangery is now the only publicly accessible remnant from Brixworth Hall. Its restoration ensures that it can be enjoyed by the public once again - not only does it offer a community space for local groups and organisations, it is the perfect venue for a special celebration or small wedding. 

New Roof for Kelmarsh Hall (2013)

Work to replace the roof of Kelmarsh Hall was completed at Easter 2013, marking the end of one of the biggest projects undertaken in its history. The project, which was funded by the Kelmarsh Trust, included the removal of existing slates, the strengthening of the structural timber and repairs to the stone work. The existing Westmoreland green slates were replaced like for like and original building techniques were employed, such as pegging the slates instead of nailing them. 

The opportunity was taken to have the roof timbers dated using dendrochronology and it was discovered that a quantity of the wood was re-used from the hall’s predecessor, a 17th century manor house building that was originally part of the Northamptonshire estate.

Water Source Heat Pump (2012)

In 2012, Kelmarsh Hall became one of the first historic houses in the county to install a water source heat pump to help conserve the building and its contents as well as providing a renewable energy source for the buildings. The £200,000 project by Ecovision Renewable Energy will see Kelmarsh's reliance on oil cut by at least 6-%. Previously, Kelmarsh was using about 50,000 litres of oil a year, at a cost of around £25,000.

The renewable energy system is now in place, ensuring that the Grade I listed hall will be heated to a constant temperature throughout the winter months, which is vital in protecting the fabric of the building and its chattels. The system, funded by energy company E.ON, sources heat from the estate’s lake. Coils of pipe containing an environmentally friendly fluid have been submerged in the lake: this fluid travels around the collectors and takes low-grade heat from the water to the heat pump situated in the basement of the hall. 


Thank you to the following organisations and individuals for their financial support of Kelmarsh's efforts to preserve and protect the heritage of the site. Without their contributions, the vital work to protect the building would have been impossible to complete to the high-quality standards seen when visiting Kelmarsh today:

Garfield Weston Foundation 
Museum Development East Midlands
Heritage Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery 
The Finnis Scott Foundation 
The Rothermere Foundation 
The Leslie Church Memorial Trust 
John Lancaster
Mrs Patricia Black

• The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation
• The Idlewild Trust
• Heritage Conservation Trust