National Trust opens new room in Avebury Manor and starts refurbishment

Avebury House manager, Amelia Bryan, In Keiller’s Drawing office. (c) National Trust/ Abby George

The National Trust has opened a room in Avebury Manor that until now has been inaccessible to visitors. The refurbishment of the Alexander Keiller drawing office is a new and exciting ongoing project, to bring another aspect of Avebury’s history to life. Continue reading…

An historic house comes back to life

BBC and National Trust television series The Manor Reborn begins this month

The Manor Reborn – the groundbreaking collaboration between the BBC and the National Trust to transform an historic house – begins on Thursday 24 November on BBC One at 9.00pm.

Presented by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin, The Manor Reborn follows the exciting design process behind bringing an historic property back to life.

The 4 x 60 minute episodes will see a lively team of historians, designers and volunteers as they refurbish the 500 year-old Avebury Manor in Wiltshire.

Inspired by the real stories and occupants of the Manor – from the age of Queen Elizabeth I to the eve of World War II – the series illustrates the story of British design across five centuries. It draws on a wide range of craft and furniture-making skills and reveals the invention of ‘the home’.

Along with nine rooms in the house, a kitchen garden has been restored. Together they reflect five different periods of history – Tudor, Queen Anne, Georgian, Victorian and early 20th century.

Architectural writer Dan Cruickshank; Anna Whitelock, lecturer in early modern history at the University of London Royal Holloway; leading interior designer Russell Sage; and gardener David Howard have all brought their expertise to the transformation of the Manor.

They have been joined by volunteers and apprentices – from the National Trust and around the West Country – and some of the most talented craftsmen, designers and specialist companies who preserve the heritage skills needed to restore a historic house.

Avebury Manor has been restored as an immersive experience and will be one of a few National Trust properties where visitors can touch, handle, sit on and enjoy every element of the house.

Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One said: “It’s been wonderful to collaborate with the National Trust on a series that I believe will delight viewers across Britain.”

Sarah Staniforth, Museums and Collections Director for the National Trust said: “An empty house is like a blank canvas, so this was an exciting opportunity to interpret the interiors in an authentic but imaginative way. The Manor Reborn has broken new ground in how we bring our places to life and we hope that Avebury Manor will be an inspiring experience for our visitors.”

The Manor Reborn was commissioned by Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Arts. Basil Comely is the Executive Producer and the Series Producer is Kate Shiers. The production is for BBC Vision London Factual.

For details of opening times for Avebury Manor, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury

The Manor Reborn begins on Thursday 24 November on BBC One at 9.00pm.