November – December

View from the top of a chimney

A workman’s view from the top of a chimney on the east front

With the closing of the house for the winter, and the coming of some suddenly very cold weather, the focus over the last month has been on getting the external work done.  There have also been some unexpected discoveries about the chapel, and a good deal of talking with people in some depth about the future of Knole.

Firstly, the building work. The stripping off of the outer layers of the house went round the south-east corner of the house in September and October, and as we were writing last month’s blog post, work was beginning on the chapel. What we didn’t know is that, under this large roof, there was no protection at all for the plaster ceiling underneath.

The roof of the chapel

The chapel roof, showing the unusual arched ceiling underneath

So work has been going at the fastest possible pace to protect the plaster, and the roof is due to be re-covered today.  We’ve also made the discovery that at some point the chapel has seen a fire, which damaged the roof: you can see it in the photo here.  We don’t know when it was though.

Inside the house, a burst of wet weather this month gave us another striking example of why the building work needs to be done.  And some of our earliest pieces of art, from the Cartoon Gallery, have also been taken away to be conserved.  We’re also expecting very soon to be taking down the tunnel through the Spangle rooms, which has been a feature of anyone’s visit to Knole over the past year.

Lastly, over the last month we have run several focus groups to find out what people think of Knole and what plans we should be making for the future.  They have only recently finished, so pictures and perhaps some news from them in the next post…

People dressed up for the sponsored Santa Run

Pre-Christmas fundraising

In other news…

Putting the house to bed carries on despite the cold

We team up with the British Heart Foundation for a special Christmas-themed event

We wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy 2013!

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