Knole house, Sevenoaks, Kent by Matthew Champion

Knole house, Sevenoaks, Kent

Today Knole is owned by the National Trust, and is visited by tens of thousands of people each year. However, in common with all great houses and stately homes, there is more to Knole than meets the eye. Whilst the public showrooms may be full of lavish paintings and sumptuous furniture, many of the attics and storerooms remain pretty much as they have done for centuries. As part of a massive National Trust project to restore the house, I carried out surveys in many of these hidden areas of the house prior to repairs being undertaken. Opening each new door would lead to yet another gallery, another room, and another collection of old and discarded furniture - relegated to the loft spaces when they were too old or too broken to be used in the great house below.