The Knole Unwrapped Volunteer Experience

2013 is an exciting year at Knole.  Not only does the Inspired by Knole conservation project  continue, but we are launching a very exciting new volunteer opportunity – Knole Unwrapped!

What is the Knole Unwrapped Volunteer Experience?

At Knole, we have a fantastic collection of paintings, furniture, textiles and many other objects, all of which require the work of our Conservation team. What we want is to offer the hands-on opportunity of assisting this team in helping to preserve our collection, learn the techniques involved in preventive conservation, assist with condition checking and repacking of all the objects in the Collections Store and to offer a unique perspective inside Knole that is not usually open to the public.

Anyone can apply, so long as you have a genuine interest in and understanding of conservation and heritage management, and are happy working as part of a team. You don’t need a background in conservation to be part of Knole Unwrapped. This is a great opportunity for those with an interest in this area to gain some practical, first-hand experience. Each week will have some time dedicated to learning about preventive conservation. You’ll learn new skills, help catalogue our collection, learn about Knole’s past and play a major part in its future.

What’s in it for you?

  • Become part of Knole’s friendly and dedicated Conservation Team
  • Get involved in supporting a new exciting project at Knole
  • Gain insight into conservation work within the National Trust
  • Learn preventive conservation skills and help to care for a collection of world importance
  • Opportunity to become involved in other areas of volunteering at Knole
  • The opportunity to enjoy being in this beautiful place, with 600 years of history and volunteer at one England’s greatest houses.

 What’s involved?

–  Group study hour sessions focusing on the care of:
Textiles and upholstered furniture
Furniture (non-upholstered) and leather
Metals and ceramics
Paintings and picture frames

–  Unpacking, condition checking and photographing objects in the Collections Store
–  Conservation cleaning of objects
–  Inventory marking objects
–  Repacking objects to museum standards and to make them more accessible
–  Research objects in store
–  Updating object condition reports electronically

You should have excellent attention to detail and good hand-eye coordination. Physical fitness is important for this role – the role-holder should have the ability to work in cold conditions, and should have a reasonable level of physical fitness to be able to lift and carry. Good IT skills and knowledge of digital cameras would also be useful.

 How you can get involved

Five volunteer places will be offered for each intake. These will be selected via application process.  For an application form contact Simon Blythe, Volunteers Co-ordinator 01732 467159 or

Extra information:

Time commitment


Intake 1: Tuesdays 19th March – 16th April 2013

Intake 2: Tuesdays 30th April – 28th May 2013

Intake 3: Tuesdays 11th June – 9th July 2013

1 day per week 9.30am – 4.30pm (timings may vary)

What you need to wear/ bring Flat shoes.  Practical clothing, layers for colder months of the year.

Lunch. (Tea and coffee provided).

Training/Resources We ask that you commit to one complete 5 week programme, which will include an initial training session and learning hours at the start of each subsequent week.
Expenses Out-of-pocket travel costs between home and volunteering place will be paid, and other reasonable expenses agreed in advance
Application deadline Monday 11th February 2013

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