To The Manor Reborn (4 x 60′) – Presented by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin, To The Manor Reborn will see a team of historians, experts, and volunteers refurbishing 500-year-old Avebury Manor in Wiltshire, putting the country house in to a national, historic perspective. From the age of Elizabeth I through to the eve of the Second World War – and taking inspiration from other houses across the country – the series and project will reflect on the story of Britain across five centuries, exploring a wide range of craft and furniture-making skills and revealing the invention of “the home”. The house will be restored as an immersive experience – it will be one of few National Trust properties open for the public where they can touch, sit on and enjoy all aspects of the house.
Along with the house, a walled wilderness will be transformed into a Victorian kitchen garden, and together they will reflect four different periods of history – Tudor, Georgian, Victorian and 20th century.
Also contributing to the series, leading interior designer Russell Sage; architectural writer and expert Dan Cruickshank; Anna Whitelock, lecturer in early modern history at the University of London Royal Holloway; and expert gardener David Howard will all bring their expertise to house and garden alike. Joining them will be many volunteers – from the Trust and from around the West Country – and some extraordinary craftsmen and specialist companies who preserve the heritage skills needed to bring an old house back to life.
Furniture and objects will either be recreated by modern craftsmen to embrace antique skills or genuine antique furniture that has had a troubled life will be restored, brought back to life – but nothing will be so delicate that it cannot withstand the rigours of normal life. BBC cameras will capture all the processes of living craftsmen working to create an historic interior.
Producer: BBC Vision London
TX: Late 2011
Source: BBC Press Office