As part of the National Trust’s flagship project to conserve and restore Knole, in Kent, MOLA’s geomaticians, specialist buildings archaeologists and photographers have undertaken an extensive programme work.

‘MOLA’s insight into reading the material evidence has been invaluable and enables us to make informed decisions about approaches to the repair of this important building.’
Emma Slocombe, Curator, National Trust

The timber framed structure of the east façade was recorded along with an extensive area of the roof and the structure below the floorboards in the interior showrooms. This led to the retrieval finds that had accumulated over the centuries.

A metric survey encompassed the interior showrooms and spaces. A network of control stations was created using total stations and tied into Ordnance Survey coordinates. This enabled accurate, 3D data capture of all architectural features including doors, windows, fireplaces, panelling and ceilings. Plans and wall elevations were then created in CAD, alongside a photographic record.

Work began on the interior of the Showrooms and attic spaces in 2016 and the site recording was completed in January 2018.  We worked alongside the carpenters and conservators on-site as they removed panelling from walls and lifted floorboards and the opportunity was taken to record the hidden fabric of the building. Stone-built masonry structures relating to the earliest phases of Knole were revealed below the Leicester Gallery floor, along with evidence of earlier divisions to the timber framed structure within the Brown Gallery walls, including lost Tudor era doorways.

In addition there were signs of a fire in Lady Getty Germain’s bedroom, probably dating to a fire recorded in 1623. The work has allowed an interpretation of an earlier layout of the 1st floor and attic spaces and how the rooms were accessed and served by staff, prior to the formation of the long galleries.   

The work has increased understanding of the complex history of the building and the results have helped the National Trust with their conservation and restoration works and in their interpretation and presentation of the building to the visiting public.

Built Heritage Post-Medieval Survey and Recording