Ickworth House ‘Real Lives’

Work to re-present the basement service areas of the rotunda at Ickworth House is now on site. Public access to the basement area of the property has generally been limited to a restaurant and bookshop. These facilities were moved from the basement in 2005, and public access has since been restricted to a small second hand bookshop. The objective of the ‘real lives’ project, to which rhp were appointed as architects in early 2009, is to re-present the Rotunda basement to the public.

Ickworth House, Grade I listed, is set within 1800 acres of gently undulating Parkland, owned and managed by the National Trust. The Ickworth Estate was, from the late fifteenth to the late twentieth centuries, the home of the Hervey family, later Marquesses of Bristol. The construction of the house was commenced in 1795 by the 4th Earl, also Bishop of Derry, and comprises the classically inspired, idiosyncratic central Rotunda which is connected by curved corridors to two rectangular wings. The Rotunda contains collections of paintings, Old Masters, miniatures and furniture, displayed within fine Regency interiors, designed for the 1st Marquess in the 1830’s.

The scheme will address the conservation of internal finishes and fittings, provision of a conservation heating system, fire precautions, improvements to access, (including alterations to the existing lift) and links from the basement to the west wing facilities.

Works are to be carried out to restore the former servants hall, servant’s bedrooms, ale cellar, the unique finishing kitchen, and formerly inaccessible wing corridors to provide a compelling and informative visitor’s route, and explain to the twenty-first century visitor the technology and activities of those who managed the ‘below stairs’ functions.

The scope has been extended to include a new stair linking the basement to the West Wing reception. Listed Building Consent for the additional stair was received mid-October 2010.

Ickworth House ‘Real Lives’
Ickworth House, National Trust
Ickworth House ‘Real Lives’
In-house Visualisation of New Stair
Ickworth House ‘Real Lives’
In-house Visualisation of New Stair