Being part of Dyrham Park Rework’d

Published : Wed 31st Aug

Work is underway on an ambitious site-wide project to restore, revitalise and reimagine Dyrham Park. Senior Project Manager Tim Cambourne, and Visitor Experience Consultant, Georgiana Hockin, have been part of the team working on the project called Dyrham Park Rework'd, which aims to create an engaging and meaningful journey into the 17th century. The project includes work on the house, parklands, gardens and facilities and is a hugely exciting undertaking with collaboration across teams. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold, project work had to stop. Now the project is underway again, we’ve been catching up with Tim and Georgiana to find out more.

What we’ve been working on so far

In January 2022, work on the main house started again and it was closed until early April while conservation and decorative work took place. Both main staircases have been re-stabilised and restored. Two Georgian chandeliers, which had been in safe storage since work started on the roof project in 2014, have now been electrified and rehung in the Great Hall. The hall's walls have also been re-grained to look like historic oak.

Story 2 - 2nd image - Georgian Chandelier.jpg

 We’ve completed work in the basement, which includes the creation of a new exhibition space in rooms never open to the public before, as well as heating, draft-proofing and the re-location of the second-hand bookshop. The historic wrought iron gates at the end of the Avenue have also been brought back to life, having been repaired and restored off-site. 

Story 2 - 3rd image - West gates being reinstalled.jpg

All-weather walking routes around the parkland are now complete and the play area at Old Lodge has reopened after a revamp. It now includes toilets, an ice cream kiosk and a cafe serving hot and cold drinks and snacks.

“We're delighted that, after being on hold for the best part of a year and a half, elements of the programme of work have re-started and plans are progressing for other parts. As well as being able to comfortably cater for visitors, the project is allowing us to revitalise the experience for people coming to Dyrham,” said Tim Cambourne, Senior Project Manager.

An exciting future ahead

As we continue with the project, we have a small selection of rooms open again on the ground and first floor. Key rooms are being redecorated to the original 17th century design and lighting updated throughout the house to showcase Dyrham's collections. Ultimately, the house will have restored historic rooms, a tasting kitchen and a conservation studio. There’s even a 'secret' passage we’re working on that links the house to the village church.

We asked Georgiana Hockin, Visitor Experience Consultant, about the future plans for the house:

"We want to make the rooms sing. We’re working to create that magic and to ignite a special connection between our visitors and this place. The highly-skilled conservation work on the stairs has restored them with a renewed depth, richness and beauty which reflects the age, quality and significance of the house. We look forward to re-presenting the rest of the house in this way."

In terms of the wider estate, we’re reviewing designs for a new car park, visitor welcome building and restaurant. We’re also working with our architects to restart the design process so the construction of new facilities can follow on from the current work.

Our teams are carefully planning all work to allow Dyrham Park to stay open throughout the period of works. It presents a challenge, but is really worth it to be able to show visitors the work as it happens, so that they can be part of the journey.

Take a look at the video below to see how the project has progressed so far: