Tunnelling through the Past

Conserving our Servant's Rooms and Laundry

With a £1.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund we have been able to conserve areas of the Hall which were at risk. Thanks to this work, our butler’s pantry, bake house and footman’s room in the basement of the main house, and a wash room and ironing rooms in a separate laundry block, have been preserved for future generations enjoyment. Prior to the work, structural engineers suggested that without investing the time and care to conserve these areas, they would have been likely to collapse in the future. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as grants from Arts Council England and Daventry District Council, an important part of the heritage of Kelmarsh Hall will soon be open for the public to enjoy.

When deciding on how to best preserve these rooms, but to also revitaliase the use of the space, the Trust adopted a principal of minimum modernisation. These areas of the house were not the product of a single period of history, instead changing purpose over a series of decades. In accordance with this, the original fabric of the building has been left as it was whenever this was possible, and objects were replaced and conserved only when necessary to protect the many layers of history in the rooms. 

Between October and March of 2016, the public had the opportunity to go 'behind the scenes' and experience the restoration work on one of the tours of the site, to see the important work in process. There was also the opportunity to 'have a go' at learning hands-on about restoration techniques, and to try pointing, lime-washing and joinery under the guidance of the experts working on the project. These days provided a fantastic opportunity for the public to be involved with protecting Kelmarsh, as well as learn about the skills which go into conserving a historic structure.

'Tunnelling through the Past' is the biggest ever conservation project undertaken at Kelmarsh Hall and we are excited about what it will offer our visitors and our local community. For more information about our past conservation and restoration projects visit our 'Conservation at Kelmarsh' section of the website.


                                             Our servant's staircase, taken at the beginning of the conservation work.

The Conservation Team

We have a great team of people working with The Kelmarsh Trust on this project who come with a wealth of experience in conservation and restoration of historic buildings.

The team is made up of: