10 Apr 2021
December 10, 2011 - Filed under: Arts and Crafts Furniture — David

The Manor Born is a new 4-part BBC TV series charting the renovation of Avebury Manor, a 500-year old National Trust manor house in Wiltshire. Fronted by actress Penelope Keith and Flog It! presenter Paul Martin, every room will be faithfully decorated and furnished to reflect a different period of the manor’s history – except the antique chests Lancashire viewers see won’t be the originals, but carefully handcrafted copies.

While many stately homes remain in the same family for generations, Avebury Manor has passed through many hands, which is reflected in the vast array of different architectural styles. Each room is unique, representing a different period of history. The aim of Manor Reborn is to reinterpret this as accurately as possible, whilst avoiding the “look but don’t touch” approach of other National Trust properties.

Over four weeks, viewers in Cumbria will see Arts & Crafts Furniture making in the raw, as Avebury Manor is restored to its former glory. Taking inspiration from other National Trust properties, a team of historians, experts and volunteers will refurbish the house to reflect its 500-year old history, and the lives of the people who lived there.

When opened to the public, Avebury Manor will be an “immersive experience”, totally different from NT properties such as Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire, where Victorian balloon back dining chairs and antique bookcases are roped off for fear of damage. While the “antique” cabinets and dining tables may look original, the majority will be craftsman-made copies, but built using traditional Tudor, Georgian, and Arts & Crafts Furniture-making methods.

Naturally the Victorian dining chairs seen in Lancashire antique dealers are always original; never modern reproductions.

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