Tunnelling through the Past

Tunnelling Through the Past: Life Below Stairs in a Country House

In 2018, Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens will open over a dozen new, interactive rooms to the public, so for the first time the voices of those who worked at Kelmarsh Hall and remained hidden will be heard. This unique educational resource will be open to general visitors and to school groups to learn about the day-to-day lives of servants in a country house, and enjoy a hands-on experience of their work through polishing the silver, brushing the boots and washing in the laundry.

Currently, visitors can learn about the history of the hall by attending a guides tour, exploring the lives and tastes of those living 'upstairs'. In 2018, the hall will also be opening for visitors to explore at their own pace, to discover the history of the various families who lives upstairs in the fine rooms before going downstairs to experience the journey made by the servants and sheets through the hidden underground spaces. 

There are three new spaces which will be opening. The Basement rooms, with the servant's bedrooms, bake-house and wine cellar; the Hidden Tunnel used by the servants to move about without being seen; and the Laundry Rooms. 

Alongside this, the project will offer visitors a fully sensory experience through modern technology, as the lives of those who worked 'below stairs' are brought into the modern day through the smells of the wash rooms to the sounds of the servants chatting whilst they work. The use of technology will help visitors interpret the spaces in detail, both upstairs and downstairs, as characters from the halls past introduce you what Kelmarsh was like when it was their home.

You'll also be able to experience Kelmarsh through the ages through your phones and tablets. Keep an eye out on our website for the release of our upcoming app!

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