19 February 2012

Garden Design Students’ ideas on display at Knole

One of the student design concepts to be exhibited
Press Release:

University of Greenwich students are putting on an exhibition of design, conservation and management ideas for the park and garden of Knole in Sevenoaks, Kent. The historic Grade I listed house has been owned by the National Trust since 1946. Its 1000-acre great medieval deer park is 90 per cent owned and managed by the Sackville-West family, and 10 per cent by the National Trust.

Lord Sackville says: "When I was first approached by the Garden Design students at the University of Greenwich, I had no idea what to expect. But I'm sure that you'll be as impressed and inspired by their work as I was. They have come up with some beautiful ideas that respect the history and spirit of Knole, while at the same time adding a contemporary twist."

The possible ideas come from 17 final year BA (Hons) Garden Design degree course students and one studying MA in Garden History that undertook the work as a historic garden conservation project on behalf of the Sackville-West family, who live in the house. The ideas are a mixture of modern designs and the restoration of some historic ones from previous centuries.

The exhibition will feature the student’s conservation plans, plus scale models of their work. They have looked at planting and management within the garden and park, and at some areas owned by the National Trust and open to visitors, such as the Brewhouse Tearoom courtyard, Green Court, and the car park.

Marian Boswall, Lecturer in garden design at Greenwich, says: "These are theoretical ideas for Lord Sackville and the National Trust to enjoy or employ as they wish. The student’s drawings and models show individual conservation, management and design ideas. Group projects explain and illustrate the history, geography and social life of the park and garden."

Designs for the Park and Garden at Knole, a free exhibition which begins in March, will take place in the 200-year-old Orangery, which was opened to the public in 2010. It is on the south side of the house, looking on to Lord Sackville’s private garden.

Exhibition opening times: Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March, 11am – 4pm, Wednesday 10 March to Sunday 1 April, 10.30am – 5pm (closed Monday and Tuesday) and Tuesday 3 April – Sunday 15 April, 10.30 am – 5pm (closed Monday except 9 April). Please note that Lord Sackville’s private garden opens to the public, Tuesdays only, from April 3, 11am – 4pm.

Picture: A design by Harriet Farlam, 3rd year BA garden design student, to turn the current cafe yard into a covered dining area with a transparent dome.

Notes for editors:

Knole was built by the Archbishops of Canterbury in the 15th century. It was annexed by Henry VIII and remodelled in the 17th century by the Sackville family. It is one of the country’s most important and most complete historic houses, containing collections of unique upholstered furniture, silver, paintings and tapestries. The house, set in a great medieval deer park, has inspired writers, artists and visitors for centuries. Knole was the birthplace and childhood home of Vita Sackville-West, who went on to create the gardens at Sissinghurst. Knole was also the setting for Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando. Recently it was a location for the film The Other Boleyn Girl.

Find out more about Knole here.

For information about studying BA Hons Garden Design at the University of Greenwich, or the MA Garden History course.

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