Restoration Plans

The design team and heritage advisors have carried out extensive research into the site’s history to uncover how the buildings and landscape have been altered over time. The aim is to restore Soane’s manor house and its landscaped setting to their Regency splendour, while enhancing the supporting role of the gallery.

The manor house will be sensitively restored and important heritage features will be reinstated. The house’s original north elevation, which featured arched windows and decorative pilasters, is hidden behind later additions to the building. By removing unsympathetic additions to the house, we will be able to allow lost features to be reinstated. These include an impressively glazed single-storey conservatory at the rear of the manor house.

Space currently used as offices will be restored and opened to the public and a new lift will provide access to all public floors. The gallery, (in the 1939 extension), will be remodelled as a state-of-the- art exhibition centre, with a new lift and staircase, toilets, visitor reception and gift shop.

The colonnade was a covered route through a courtyard linking the manor house with adjacent buildings, (now the gallery) and will be reinstated. It gave glimpses of the grounds on approaching the manor house’s entrance and had niches for displaying sculpture. The original entrance Lodge will also be conserved and used as a volunteer base with a work space for small groups.

The landscape design will transform the buildings’ immediate surroundings linking into the restored regency grounds of 28-acre Walpole Park and reconnecting the House to the landscape in the way intended by Soane. The project will conserve listed and other historic structures in the grounds, and recreate the Regency planting design as the setting for the manor house.

A new pavilion in the walled garden will provide a café and events venue with minimal impact on the historic setting of the manor house.

Additionally, there is now a new visitor centre in the park, called the Rickyard. The building includes a learning space, volunteer room, outdoor classroom, office space and park facilities including new public toilets an observation bee hiveand café kiosk.

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