Client: English Heritage</p
Grade I listed Kirby Hall is one of the most innovative country houses in the history of English architecture. It was begun around 1570 as a traditional late medieval house, but with spectacular Renaissance elevations facing onto its private courtyard. Its innovations include a revolutionary insistence on total symmetry, the earliest giant order in England, and a tremendous glazed hall range. The house also features a wing of twin state apartments added later by Sir Christopher Hatton, which reveals much about the way the grandest courtiers’ houses functioned. Other important aspects include a lost medieval village within the wider Scheduled Monument, a Grade II* Registered Garden, and an array of architectural embellishments throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Although less well known, the later alterations and the deliberate ruination of the house after the 1820s are also of great historical interest.
Our Conservation Management Plan draws together and distils the vast amount of information on the house and grounds, as well as the secondary literature and the results of recently commissioned research. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the site, evaluates the significance of its many parts, and sets out the issues its faces in future together with policies designed to sustain its significance in the short, medium and long term. Alongside this, the Gazetteer presents a detailed consideration of each room and space, explaining its history of change, significance, condition, issues, and recommendations for future works. For this project we have worked with English Heritage and MRDA Architects to plan the future management of the site in a holistic way, balancing competing pressures including conservation, resources and visitor access. A process of stakeholder consultation will inform the consideration of issues, such as how to raise visitor numbers and integrate the site with a large new suburb of Corby, without harming its special interest.