Episode 1 The Manor Reborn


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Episode 1

A team of historians, experts, and volunteers restore 500-year-old Avebury Manor in Wiltshire as a place to touch, experience and enjoy. Hosted by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin.


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There's nothing the British like better than a day out at a stately

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home. It can be really disappointing. There are so many

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rules - don't touch that, no entry beyond this point, don't sit on the

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chairs. Wouldn't it be fantastic to throw all those rules out of the

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window and start again? And that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm

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Penelope Keith. I'm on a mission to change the way we visit stately

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homes. It strikes me it's going to be quite a task to get it

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altogether in the amount of time we have. And I'm not alone. On his way

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to meet me is Mr Flog It! Himself, Paul Martin, who knows a thing or

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two about antiques and old houses. So far, my team is myself and

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Penelope Keith. So wish us luck! I have never met Penelope before. I

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don't know what she is going to think of me. I was a good fan of

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hers, I can tell you that. We are about to face the ultimate stately

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home challenge. It all happens here at Avebury Manor in Wiltshire.

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National Trust has given us six months to reinvent the manor before

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it opens to the public with a cash budget of �225,000 - a lot to you

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and me - and we are going to have to move fast. We want to create a

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house rich and colourful and full of marvellous things to rival any

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other stately home. This is impressive. The difference at

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Avebury, nothing will be so valuable it can't be touched. So

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delicate it can't be used. This is marvellous! There will be some

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antiques rk things we pick up for a song. -- antiques, things we pick

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up for a song and have to repair. Mostly, we will be making things

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from scratch. Furniture, fabrics, made so well they rival real

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antiques. Selling now. Get yourself comfortable. Right. We want to

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create a bed fit for a Queen. Travel to far-off places to learn

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about the lives of people who lived in our house. That is absolutely

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brilliant. And bring a lost garden back to life. One has to be

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optimistic as a gardener. If you are not, don't become a gardener.

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It's going to be a journey of discovery and laughter. But

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passions will run high. We have to deliver this project on time.

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don't deliver, we have failed on The Wiltshire village of Avebury

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sits pretty as a postcard in the spring mist. Avebury is famous for

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its prehistoric stone circle. Lots of people visit all year-round. The

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trouble is hardly any of them makes it to the village's other

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attraction. The 500-year-old manor house. So Avebury Manor sits empty

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and neglected. A few people visit its gardens, but the manor house

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needs to make money if it is to have a future. Wow! It's dark.

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is. Shall I leave the door open? would. Torches. One for you and one

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for me. That's good. Gosh! Many stately homes stay in the same

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family for generations. But Avebury's changed hands lots of

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times. From a Tudor courtier to a Georgian soldier, a Victorian

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champion polo player and a 1930s playboy archaeologist. That's nice.

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Oh yes! What a beautiful room. A marble fireplace surround. It's a

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gent's room. Does that need cleaning? Does it need cleaning?!

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It does a bit. Who is it? The smoke has got to that. Oh dear. She is

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upset. What about this - I'm old and badly damaged, please don't

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touch me. Thank you. LAUGHTER This is better! That is more like it.

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That is much nicer. Yes. Tudor. has a proper Tudor feel about it.

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You like that? I do. You are Lady of the Manor. I like the light

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behind me. Oh! Jolly nice. Is this Georgian? Yes. This definitely is.

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Gosh. What room is this? Is it dining? I think it is a dining room.

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It's a formal entertaining room. is. And the mouldings are beautiful.

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This is in quite good nick. What is the fireplace? Is that... Stone it

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looks like. That is beautiful. Any little boys up there?! LAUGHTER It

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is the kitchen! That is nice. is nice. That is a lovely dresser.

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It's got a good feel. A hub of the house feel. Here is the staircase.

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So many people have known and loved this house. Even a Queen of England

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came to stay. Oh! Wow! You see, it is like an Aladdin's cave, every

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room is different. Look at that. is glorious. It bears no relation

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to the rest of the house. doesn't. It's a bit of a

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rollercoaster ride so far. Some rooms do it for me and others don't.

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I know. I keep feeling we are going into different houses. It doesn't

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seem to be part of one. There is no rhythm to it. No. How are you

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feeling about this? I wouldn't know where to begin. I don't, to be

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frank. It will be a long, drawn-out process. I think we can call it a

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challenge! A challenge indeed. But is it one

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the Trust is going to take on? afternoon. The Trust has owned

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Avebury Manor for the last 21 years, but for most of that time it was

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let out to tenants because there's never been money to do it up. After

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the last tenants left, there were only two options - rent it out

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again or do something completely new. We own all these extraordinary

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places and people love them and they have enjoyed visiting them for

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many decades, but they were getting to be a bit predictable, a bit

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staid, and people were feeling it was a process that you walk around

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looking at things. Our whole mission now is to bring up Avebury

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to life, to involve people in the experience but what goes with that

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is the reputational risk that you go too far or you are too

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extravagant, or you don't reflect the spirit of the place and its own

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stories. For me, the absolute core of it is two things - first, are we

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being honest about the place, its people and the stories? We must not

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be making them up. Second, are we honouring the spirit of the place?

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That magic ingredient that makes Avebury what it is. Here we are

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with the fairy dust. But we know we are going to have to argue our case

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with the Trust every step of the way. What are you like in a fight?

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I tell you what, we will upset a few people along the way. I shall

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stand behind you! I shall smile. And say, "He says he knows what he

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is doing!" What we need is a team of experts. Imagine living in that

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part of the house. Interior designer, Russell Sage. Russell's

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opulent interiors at the Goring Hotel in London impressed Kate

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Middleton the night before she married Prince William. At home in

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the world of restaurant hotel chic Russell's vision will be key.

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Russell also has the vital job of persuading many of his crafts

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people and suppliers to donate materials and expertise. You have

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done this before. Not for 25 years! With a limited cash budget, if he

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doesn't manage to persuade them to help, the whole project will fail.

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Surely there's set designers who have got tapestries? Unlocking the

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building's emotional past is social historian, Anna Whitelock. Fertile,

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healthy and... Anna teaches history at the University of London. So

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she's our people person. Anna is an expert in the Tudors and she wants

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the lives of people who loved Avebury reflected in what we are

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going to do. From a Tudor merchant on the make, to an English Queen

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who came to stay. From people's sleeping arrangements to the very

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best in bathroom facilities! William III's bottom, I guess! It

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would have been sitting right there. This is history in the bath. Indeed.

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Completing the team is architectural historian, Dan

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Cruickshank. Dan has travelled the world in search of its most

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spectacular buildings. When he is back home, his love of the British

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country house has made him a one- man guardian of the nation's

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heritage. Together, the three of them will invent the new look for

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Avebury. Russell wants an interior as far away from a museum as

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possible. At the moment it feels so brown and it should be so colourful.

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Absolutely. We would have a massive bed... Anna wants the lives of

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former occupants reflected around the house. In this room, we are

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talking lavish, dining, we are talking plenty of booze. Dan will

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see that architectural and design history is accurate to the letter.

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This scheme has lots of challenges. One is to create characters who

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lived in the house, reveal them, reveal their stories and have

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dramatic decorative schemes all within the realm of historical

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possibility. We have to respect the nature of the building. It is like

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whether you are going to listen to Dan, or whether you are going to

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listen to me! It is fantastic to see it through Dan's eyes and

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Anna's eyes and see the kind of real history of how things should

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be done. I'm excited because I feel like to me it is an emotional

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experience of trying to re-live some of the lives we have talked

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about and maybe build it from a human perspective rather than

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historical perspective. A real sense of arrival to the room for

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anybody visiting... The exciting challenge will be able to make this

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project come alive and really experience what it would have been

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like to have been in this house throughout the last 400 years.

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Russell has just two weeks to pitch his design scheme to the toughest

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judges from the National Trust. Lots to do. Always lots to do. But

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the project will be delivered. Simple as that. It has to be. There

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is always a deadline. We always have to work to deadlines. There

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can't be any nerves because if there was, we wouldn't be doing it

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in the first place. For the kind of challenges we get thrown, this is a

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slightly above average challenge, This is Polesden Lacey in Surrey.

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In many ways, it's a typical National Trust property. So, what

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works for visitors here and what doesn't? Russell and I have come to

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find out. There are definitely some horrors we want to avoid. The Trust

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was lucky in Polesden Lacey. It came to them glittering and finely

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furnished. It is beautiful. But the Trust has also arranged the house

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so as to reflect the personality of its owner. Do we think this is Mrs

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Greville? It must be. Quite a wonderful portrait. It is. Rather

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demure Scottish face. Definitely. This is good... We too want to

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decorate and furnish Avebury to reflect the personalities of people

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who lived there. To give a real flavour of previous owners'

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lifestyles and tastes. Like them or not, good or bad. We don't want

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this in Avebury. No. And having just noticed, I don't want these at

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Avebury. This is the old National Trust for me. Exactly.

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A library. I knew that, there's books! Quite a relaxed library.

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What I like about this room is the lack of ropes and the feeling of

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the objects and things around to touch. Marvellous and the... ALARM

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SOUNDS They have some kind of alarm. I don't know how it works. ALARM

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SOUNDS Sounds like a dog-whistle! It does! Here we have - these are

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all people she knew? Yes. Isn't it wonderful?! I love the hat and the

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telephone. Wonderful. ALARM SOUNDS I feel like they are going to put

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electricity through it. It is nice to see you can touch things. It is

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more relaxed. The sofa is lovely. So comfortable. If we have a reason

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to do something like this, down at Avebury, I am keen people should be

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able to sit down. We will have books. Yes. Definitely. Books that

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people can read and hold. Exactly. We need to put together a house

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that people can touch and feel and the fact there was one room in

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there with a barrier, that is not what we want. We want to make sure

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people can use our house and get in the beds and jump up-and-down on

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the furniture. Not sure how we will do it, but we will. We want people

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to enter this house and have as much fun as we have had putting it

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together. Yeah. The house is only part of what needs to be done here

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at Avebury. Of course, with every big house comes a big garden. Now,

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this is the topiary garden - it is lovely. I am very fond of topiary.

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Marvellous cut boxes and the pheasant, I think he is supposed to

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be. I think he's supposed to be a sheep. And they need a trim. Behind

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this door is something that looks a bit like a secret garden. I'm here

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to meet David Howard who is going to bring back to life a lost

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Victorian kitchen garden. Hello. Nice to see you. What a mess!

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It's a garden that's had many lives I think. Obviously, it was a

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productive walled garden... what? Vegetables? Mainly for

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vegetables, yes. David is no ordinary gardener. For ten years,

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he was head gardener at Highgrove. This is the Gloucestershire home of

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the Prince of Wales where David helped make Prince Charles' organic

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dreams come true. Now we want him to create a garden for us, growing

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vegetables and fruit in decorative borders. A garden both beautiful

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and productive and, of course, organic. It's a huge task, but

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unlike the house, we have the go- ahead from the Trust to begin work

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right away. What I would like to do in creating a new design is not be

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constricted by the plants and their positions. Right. I would like to

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remove them all and give myself a free space. There's two pines that

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won't be here? No, the pine trees are very incongruous. They are

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relatively young trees. They are only 15 or 20 years old. They are

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not for this garden. No, they are not. When I look around, it's quite

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big with an awful lot of work. a huge amount of work in a

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relatively short space of time. But I think I can do it. Bravo. Good

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luck. It's auction day in Berkshire. Even though Russell is working on

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the scheme for the house, there's an opportunity he simply cannot

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afford to miss. We won't be buying many antiques for Avebury, but we

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need a few special pieces. Today, we are interested in one lot - an

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antique bed. It's not the four- poster Russell was hoping for but

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maybe it could be adapted. The trouble is there's also a lot of

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other people after it. AUCTIONEER: Lot 184, an oak bed

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frame circa 1660 and later. And where are we with this? 550. �550.

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600 at the back. 650? No more. 700, the gentleman standing. 700. 75 0.

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800. 850. 900. 950. 1,000 with you, Sir. 1100 now. Now... The price is

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rocketing. My goodness! Can Russell go any higher? 1,500. 1,600. 1,700.

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1,800. At 1,800, the gentleman standing. 1,900. 2,000. At 2,000.

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The gentleman at the back there. I'll split it once for you. At

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2,100. 2,200 is bid. At 2,200, the gentleman at the back then. Selling

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now. I'm in trouble with the budget!

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Back in Avebury, we need to drum up some volunteer labour to help David

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get going in the garden. It's Paul. Do you mind if I put a poster up in

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the pub? Would you let us do that? We are trying to recruit a load of

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volunteers to help out in the manor house. People can read that when

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they are ordering a pint. Let me leave one of these with you. Do you

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live locally? If I leave you that, OK? You don't need any equipment,

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just turn up. I heard you, I'm passing through. Are you? Lots of

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vegetables, herbs... Can you stick it in the window for a few days?

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Yes. Can you put one of our posters up? Take a look at this. Are you

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green-fingered? Definitely. You want to put it up in the window

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yourself! I do. Getting volunteers and villagers involved in the

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garden is our only hope of success. All we can do now is wait. It's the

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first big day for the garden. Is David going to be disappointed? Or

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will it be full steam ahead? We needn't have worried. Lots of

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people have turned up. Local agricultural students, Trust

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volunteers and villagers. Good afternoon, ladies, gentlemen,

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students. Welcome. Thank you very much for giving up your time freely

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to help me transform this disused walled garden into a Victorian

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kitchen garden. Victorian kitchen gardens were a feature of most

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large country houses supplying fruit and veg to the household. We

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need to clear the garden of shrubs but not kill them in the process.

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Are you going to re-plant them? I want you to lift them all. I want

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this to be clear of plant material. It is quite a tricky operation. We

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really don't want to kill anything. A big old root down there. Trying

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to get it out. You have to keep the roots in tact otherwise the plant

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will die. It is hard work. It is a challenge. It is hard. The ground

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is actually quite full of gravel which makes it really compact. That

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is the challenge. Walled to create a microclimate and laid out in

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symmetrical beds and paths, the Victorian kitchen garden was a

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thing of beauty so we have a way to go. Most of what's here would be

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out of place in a kitchen garden and the two pine trees have to come

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But nothing will go to waste in our garden. The branches will be used

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to support runner beans. The great thing about having 50 people to

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help is you have 50 man hours. If they are here for two hours, that

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is 100 man hours. That is like me being in the garden for three weeks

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on my own. You can achieve an awful lot. All the uprooted plants are

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going at the end of the garden, leaving the rest free for David's

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ambitious plans. This is looking good. Are you pleased? Yes. I am

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pleased! It is fantastic. It is a pleasure to see people working as

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enthusiastically as this, wanting to create a new garden in a

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beautiful place like Avebury, creating something for the future.

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Girls and guys, let's stop for a moment - tea break. You have done a

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sterling job. Time to have a break. Thank you. And well deserved it is,

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too. Back in London, at Russell's design

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studio, there are days till the pitch to the National Trust.

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imagine it would be the same fabric or would it be a poorer fabric?

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is a frantic phone-round to his suppliers to get props and samples

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to illustrate his new take on this old house. The house has got to be

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this thing that fires people's imaginations so it is me playing

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history with a light touch, adding bits in that are quite unusual, or

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inspiring, or curious. That will keep all visitors happy. At last,

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the day of the pitch has arrived. Russell has been at the manor night

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and day preparing the rooms. quite a lot to do this morning.

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Probably an hour-and-a-half to go. We need to keep working through the

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rooms, dog a few last minute things. It will be -- doing a few last

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minute things. It will be fabulous. The Trust has a duty to protect

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buildings. It also has a bigger duty to bring them to life and this

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building hasn't been alive for a At the Avebury Estate Office, the

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National Trust team is gathering. Sarah Staniforth is one of the

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Trust's bigwigs. And without her approval, the whole thing will be

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off. If we were doing this from scratch, then we would do much more

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research into the sort of the structure of the building because

:28:39.:28:45.

we tend to base our restoration on precedent and whether it is from

:28:45.:28:50.

documents or from physical evidence that we can find so this is a

:28:50.:28:54.

rather different approach to what the National Trust would normally

:28:54.:29:03.

do. Russell will also be seeing a lot of Lucy Armstrong. She has been

:29:03.:29:11.

brought in by the Trust to approve day-to-day decisions on what is

:29:11.:29:15.

historically acceptable. It really is huge. It's not how we would

:29:15.:29:20.

normally work. It is not how I would work. It is exciting. It is a

:29:20.:29:24.

fantastic opportunity to work in this way. It is also nerve-wracking

:29:24.:29:30.

because you want to get it right. If we stop that for a second?

:29:30.:29:33.

needs to be historically accurate and sympathetic to the building. If

:29:34.:29:40.

it is not, then you have to go back and change it. The bigger

:29:40.:29:44.

challenges are simple red tape, of you are not allowed to do that to a

:29:44.:29:51.

wall, you are not allowed to change the architecture. We totally

:29:52.:29:56.

understand Grade-I listed but we can change buildings without

:29:56.:30:01.

affecting what they are and what is important about them. Don't get

:30:01.:30:08.

confused! Avebury's General Manager, Janet Tomlin, won't have a veto on

:30:08.:30:12.

what Russell does, but she is the one who needs the manor to start

:30:12.:30:16.

earning its keep. I hope what we get is a really good idea where we

:30:16.:30:20.

might be going with the transformation. We have all been,

:30:20.:30:26.

not kept in the dark, but none of us really know. We have

:30:26.:30:34.

expectations. Today we see what the designer is thinking. Also here are

:30:34.:30:41.

Anna and Dan. Armed with historical evidence to back up Russell's

:30:41.:30:45.

proposals. We are minutes away from our presentation to the National

:30:45.:30:50.

Trust. I hope Russell's all right, he hasn't slept for the last two

:30:50.:31:00.
:31:00.:31:01.

nights. He is a worried man - well, we all are. And enthusiasm? Indeed.

:31:01.:31:09.

This is what the whole thing is about. It's a lot to pull off. How

:31:09.:31:15.

are you feeling? I was all right till a minute ago! It is going to

:31:15.:31:18.

be great. The National Trust haven't seen it since Russell's

:31:18.:31:23.

dressed the room. The last time they saw it, it was an empty house,

:31:23.:31:30.

empty rooms, and we have to hope... Oh my God! We have to hope that

:31:30.:31:39.

what they see they are happy with! This is your big pitch, Russell.

:31:39.:31:45.

feels like that at the moment. We will see how big it is in half an

:31:45.:31:49.

hour! It is the moment of truth. We are all here to give Russell a

:31:49.:31:55.

boost. I think he's going to need it. I'm apprehensive because I know

:31:55.:31:58.

it means so much to everyone. There's still lots to learn about

:31:58.:32:07.

the house. Looks like they are coming soon! LAUGHTER Looks like a

:32:07.:32:15.

School Report! Hello. I'm Russell. Nice to meet you. Lucy. Sarah.

:32:15.:32:25.
:32:25.:32:25.

Lovely to meet you. Jan. Well, at least the numbers are even - five

:32:25.:32:30.

against five. Shall we have a look at a few rooms? I have forgotten

:32:30.:32:38.

their names already - I'm sorry! The pitch starts in the oldest room

:32:38.:32:43.

in the house. We wanted to take it back to the time of our Tudor

:32:43.:32:50.

courtier, William Dunch, a social climber and a self-made man.

:32:50.:32:55.

Obviously, this is a beautiful tie dor room. Everything in the room

:32:55.:33:04.

needs to re-- -- Beautiful Tudor room. Everything in the room needs

:33:04.:33:09.

to be done. We are picking a date of around 1660 for it when it was

:33:09.:33:15.

seen as a very kind of flashy room. It was a new statement of opulence

:33:15.:33:20.

for the owners and the things were quite gilded, there was a lot of

:33:20.:33:25.

colour at that time. To think about somebody doing this to their house

:33:25.:33:29.

today is quite a crazy thing. To think of it happening then was a

:33:29.:33:35.

real show of wealth and... Come on, Russell! Let's be honest. You want

:33:35.:33:42.

some Tudor bring! Tudor inspired furniture... He wants the Dunch

:33:42.:33:48.

coats of arms painted all over the walls. I want people to go wow, was

:33:48.:33:53.

it really like this? I can see what he is trying to do factually here.

:33:53.:33:56.

Historically, bringing colour into the room, lots of golds because it

:33:56.:34:02.

was a way of reflecting light. How would you propose doing the

:34:02.:34:05.

painted walls? Obviously, I would like to paint the walls. But you

:34:05.:34:09.

are not going to let me do that. would be a real issue for us if

:34:10.:34:15.

that was straight on to the panelling. If you could find a way

:34:15.:34:20.

of actually doing that on something that's in front of the panelling...

:34:20.:34:23.

Whether we could find a piece of panelling to mount above the

:34:23.:34:27.

fireplace, hung like a picture, and go through the process of painting,

:34:27.:34:32.

gilding and really hung like a picture but true to the state of

:34:32.:34:41.

the walls. That would look really nice. So Russell's colour scheme

:34:41.:34:47.

has got a lukewarm reception from the Trust which is worrying.

:34:47.:34:51.

Upstairs, he's talking even more colours. I have done a few samples,

:34:51.:34:56.

both in the window and there is one here of the frieze which is picked

:34:56.:35:00.

up on some of the historical colouring. The frieze is beautiful.

:35:00.:35:05.

We have found various examples that it could potentially be coloured

:35:05.:35:13.

and have more colour... The ceiling, these emblems have to be picked out

:35:13.:35:18.

in colour? I think that ceilings simply for the very simple fact of

:35:18.:35:24.

reflecting light back into the room... They don't like that.

:35:24.:35:30.

very cost of trying to re-paint this every year, when the candle

:35:30.:35:34.

fat had blackened it and when the soot from the fire had blackened

:35:34.:35:39.

it... Are you saying the Tudor Rose would have been whitewashed?

:35:39.:35:42.

think so. It is an economy as much as anything. You have the

:35:43.:35:46.

fabulousness of the plaster, it is there. I think what she is saying

:35:46.:35:53.

makes sense. I wouldn't paint the freezes, would you? Yes. You would?

:35:53.:36:02.

-- The friezes, would you? Yes. would? Brace yourself, Lucy, you

:36:02.:36:07.

ain't seen nothing yet! Welcome to the biggest and most exciting

:36:07.:36:12.

bedroom for me in the house. As you know, this room has been referred

:36:12.:36:17.

to as the Queen Anne bedroom. We would like to bring that image to

:36:17.:36:22.

life. She is reported to have been here in 1704. For me, I would like

:36:22.:36:28.

to bring that to life for you by going to town on the biggest bed

:36:28.:36:34.

that really is a statement for the house and something I would love

:36:34.:36:39.

the visitors to talk about before they even get there. My thoughts

:36:39.:36:44.

are whether the bed could go in the middle of the room. In a sense,

:36:44.:36:48.

that would be to work against the room itself. The back of the

:36:48.:36:51.

headboard, it is a typical space that is never decorated because

:36:51.:36:57.

they do expect it to be against... There aren't free-standing state

:36:57.:37:02.

beds. I think that in a sense this is a space that we have. I want the

:37:02.:37:07.

bed against the wall. That is interesting. Obviously, if you

:37:07.:37:11.

lived here, yes. But I think... know, we are trying to give people

:37:11.:37:16.

the impression that people do live here. It should be there. Putting

:37:16.:37:21.

the bed in the middle of the room hasn't gone down well. So what

:37:22.:37:28.

about the colour scheme? Marble effect walls and a sky effect

:37:28.:37:38.
:37:38.:37:38.

ceiling. I see a worried face. worried face was about the sky with

:37:38.:37:43.

the marbling. Can you think of another room where there's that

:37:43.:37:47.

sort of marbling and in a bedroom? I'm not keen on the marble

:37:48.:37:53.

panelling. I love the blue ceiling. I want that all... In that coving

:37:53.:37:58.

area, that would look stunning. That is so Queen Anne. It's all too

:37:58.:38:06.

showy for the Trust. That's quite palatial decoration. A lot of the

:38:07.:38:12.

ideas the Trust does like. This is almost like Harry Potter, isn't it?

:38:12.:38:16.

The Governor of Jamaica, who lived in this house, died in this very

:38:16.:38:21.

room. I'm with it. I love the idea of capturing the Governor of

:38:21.:38:27.

Jamaica in this room. This feels as if we are on a journey now. I love

:38:27.:38:32.

it. Absolutely love it. I do think it would be wonderful to have a

:38:32.:38:36.

dramatic carpet covering most of the room. The more daring the

:38:36.:38:41.

better. Can I get one of these? Let's take a big risk. Let's not go

:38:41.:38:44.

half-way and regret that we didn't do the whole thing. If we are going

:38:44.:38:54.
:38:54.:39:01.

to do something brave, I would like us to be courageous. Ten rooms and

:39:01.:39:05.

several hours later, what's the verdict? Has it all been too much

:39:05.:39:12.

for the Trust? You have seen the rooms now, there's been a lot of

:39:12.:39:17.

talking. A lot of talking! Are we in business? I think there are some

:39:17.:39:22.

matters of detail that we need to... Many matters of detail? Erm...

:39:22.:39:26.

Actually fewer than I expected. When is it full steam ahead or

:39:26.:39:32.

partly steam ahead? I think what we have been given so far is very

:39:32.:39:40.

broad strokes. Now is the time to next couple of weeks we can do.

:39:40.:39:45.

not quite a green light, then. hope you won't be pulling in the

:39:45.:39:51.

reins on Russell too much. Do you think he was holding back today? I

:39:51.:39:56.

felt... I felt very comfortable. don't think he was necessarily

:39:56.:40:00.

holding back. Absolutely, he's the creative type. He's got all these

:40:00.:40:04.

fantastic ideas. If he had it all his own way, then it becomes

:40:04.:40:08.

personal taste and this isn't about personal taste, this is about

:40:08.:40:11.

historical accuracy and that little bit of fairy dust on top. Let's

:40:11.:40:15.

make it work. We need to get that rubber-stamped within the next two

:40:15.:40:20.

or three weeks so we can start. don't know whether we can agree the

:40:20.:40:24.

whole. We can agree aspects of it. So we can get started? We would

:40:24.:40:32.

want to get moving. But it has to be right. I was excited and I loved

:40:32.:40:37.

all your things. I found them fascinating. I don't want the bed,

:40:37.:40:41.

Paul and I were saying, I would prefer the bed against the wall. I

:40:41.:40:46.

wasn't that keen on the marbling in that room? There's a wonderful

:40:46.:40:49.

sense of adventure to materials like marble. We are not talking

:40:49.:40:54.

about real marble, just painting that effect and I love it. I love

:40:54.:41:00.

the clouds. Yes. We must have that. I'm trying to win the marble and

:41:00.:41:08.

lose the clouds. Are you? We won't get it all. We will keep...

:41:08.:41:12.

wonder - I will have a bet with you that they will take the clouds and

:41:12.:41:20.

not the marble? OK. What's the bet? A fiver. No problem. LAUGHTER Our

:41:20.:41:24.

plans for the house and the garden will mean a big change of gear por

:41:24.:41:30.

the Trust. -- for the Trust. I'm not sure they are ready. After the

:41:30.:41:34.

hottest May since records began, there's a nasty surprise for David

:41:34.:41:44.
:41:44.:41:46.

in Our Vic torian kitchen garden. - - in our Victorian kitchen garden -

:41:46.:41:50.

no-one has watered the shrubs. They are looking very sickly indeed.

:41:50.:41:54.

This is what I didn't want to happen. This border looked rather

:41:54.:41:59.

lovely when we re-planted all the material. It hasn't rained for a

:41:59.:42:04.

good while. No rain at all. These plants obviously haven't had the

:42:04.:42:14.
:42:14.:42:14.

water that they require. And quite The trouble is the full-time

:42:14.:42:19.

gardens at Avebury, who tend the rest of the garden, have told the

:42:19.:42:24.

Trust they are too busy to help David out. I'm not happy with the

:42:24.:42:27.

situation with the National Trust at the moment. I don't feel they

:42:27.:42:32.

have bought into the idea of re- creating this garden and it leaves

:42:32.:42:42.
:42:42.:42:45.

me a little bit uneasy. It's been a join it to the rest of the existing

:42:46.:42:55.

garden. It's a fortnight since the pitch. The Trust is still chewing

:42:55.:43:01.

over our dramatic proposals. Until they have agreed our plans, nothing

:43:01.:43:07.

can happen in the house. The problem is we want to decorate the

:43:07.:43:12.

manor in vivid colours using other historic houses as our model. While

:43:12.:43:18.

the Trust wants us to use only colours they can prove were once on

:43:18.:43:24.

the walls and ceilings at Avebury. So Lucy has commissioned paint-

:43:24.:43:29.

scrapers to find out what colours lie beneath the modern paint and to

:43:30.:43:36.

prove she's right about the Tudor ceiling only ever being white.

:43:37.:43:41.

think it will be really worth analysing to see what lies beneath.

:43:41.:43:45.

We don't know yet. By gently scraping away, you can reveal

:43:45.:43:51.

slightly larger areas that you can possibly start to understand the

:43:51.:43:54.

archaeology beneath the surface of what we have presently. It's bad

:43:54.:44:00.

news for us if they don't find any evidence of colour. So is there

:44:00.:44:06.

colour on the Tudor ceiling? Or not? I have taken about ten samples

:44:06.:44:12.

so far. From various areas on the ceiling. And I haven't been able to

:44:12.:44:18.

find any evidence of colour. I will set them in resin and make cross-

:44:18.:44:24.

sections and then have a closer look at them under the microscope.

:44:24.:44:29.

Certainly the main body of the ceiling from visual examination

:44:29.:44:39.
:44:39.:44:45.

today looks like it was white. That Maybe the Trust is right to be

:44:45.:44:51.

worried. Lots of people care about the fate of Avebury Manor. Back in

:44:51.:44:55.

the 1980s, there was another attempt to breathe new life into

:44:55.:45:05.
:45:05.:45:06.

Avebury Manor and it all went disastrously wrong. Before the

:45:06.:45:11.

Trust took it over, Avebury Manor was owned by maverick property

:45:11.:45:17.

developer, Ken King. Like us, he wanted to re-launch it as a visitor

:45:17.:45:23.

attraction. Ken's vision was a kind of Elizabethan theme park. And it

:45:23.:45:29.

did attract visitors. But the transformation of the manor enraged

:45:29.:45:39.
:45:39.:45:39.

the villagers of Avebury. NEWSREEL: I think we would all

:45:39.:45:42.

agree that the Avebury Manor scheme represents the unattractive face of

:45:42.:45:46.

the enterprise culture. We are determined to exercise our

:45:46.:45:52.

democratic rights to resist it. That is our aim. Eventually, the

:45:52.:45:58.

Elizabethan experience was forced to close. And the manor was bought

:45:58.:46:08.
:46:08.:46:15.

Hello. 20 years on, the locals want to make sure we don't get it wrong

:46:15.:46:25.

as well. You are not flogging this? No. We enjoy your programme. Thank

:46:25.:46:33.

you. Villager Sir Hugh Jones led the 1988 campaign. NEWSREEL:

:46:33.:46:38.

attractive face of the enterprise - - an unattractive face of the

:46:38.:46:46.

enterprise culture. Now he is back. Thank you so much for giving up

:46:46.:46:50.

your Sunday afternoon. I know this means a lot to you. It is great to

:46:50.:46:53.

see some young faces here as well. Your opinion really counts. It

:46:53.:46:56.

really does. I expect some of you have been through this meeting

:46:56.:47:03.

before with Ken King, have you? ended up in jail! LAUGHTER Well,

:47:03.:47:11.

don't send me to the Tower just yet! What is there to prevent it

:47:11.:47:14.

becoming the Elizabethan theme park that it was once? We are not

:47:14.:47:18.

creating a theme park. That is for sure. It won't be a theme park.

:47:18.:47:23.

This is still a National Trust house. Will any of the existing

:47:23.:47:29.

rooms be left as they are? Yes. It's been lived in. That makes it

:47:29.:47:32.

quite interesting? We are going to try and retain that. We want it to

:47:32.:47:39.

be lived in. We want that lived-in look. It's all that social history

:47:39.:47:44.

experience which we want to capture. I think it's an achievable project

:47:44.:47:54.

but we need the help of everybody. It sounds to be an imaginative

:47:54.:47:58.

project. One has to be careful not to develop an artificial promotion

:47:58.:48:06.

for tourism here. Is it going to be helpful in teaching people about

:48:06.:48:11.

the past? Or is it going to cause friction in the village again? We

:48:11.:48:19.

will have to wait and see. Avebury welcomes visitors, but we don't

:48:19.:48:29.
:48:29.:48:38.

At nearby Wiltshire Agricultural College, an army of students are

:48:38.:48:43.

working hard to provide David with seedlings and young plants ready

:48:43.:48:47.

for our kitchen garden at Avebury. Carrots. We are going to put the

:48:47.:48:52.

peas into these. David was quite lucky to find a willing local

:48:52.:48:55.

college that has the facilities and the will and the students to carry

:48:55.:48:59.

it all out. It is a massive job to undergo by yourself. You couldn't

:48:59.:49:04.

do it in the time space he's got. So he needs as many hands as

:49:04.:49:14.
:49:14.:49:17.

possible to get the job done. all, about 500 seedlings will come

:49:17.:49:25.

from here to our garden. We've got lettuce, Brussel sprouts, carrots,

:49:25.:49:32.

tomatoes, beans, peas, and this particular one is a runner bean

:49:32.:49:37.

called Painted Lady. The seedlings will germinate and grow faster here

:49:37.:49:47.
:49:47.:49:51.

in the glass houses than they will in the open ground. Back at Avebury,

:49:51.:50:01.
:50:01.:50:02.

You will see very rapid transformation. The machines have

:50:02.:50:06.

only been here ten minutes. You can see what they have achieved. If you

:50:06.:50:09.

leave them in here all day, most of the day, you will see the paths dug

:50:09.:50:14.

out, the beds creates and literally within the space of a day we will

:50:14.:50:24.
:50:24.:50:36.

have created the bones of this There is a long way to go before

:50:36.:50:44.

David will be ready for planting. Now, it is time to begin work on

:50:44.:50:54.
:50:54.:50:55.

the paths and create the borders. The plan for today is to get our

:50:55.:50:59.

granite scalpings in. The nice bit is putting the edging boards in

:50:59.:51:04.

place and creating the shapes of the new bed. That is the plan.

:51:04.:51:12.

Fingers crossed! The paths will need 120 tonnes of gravel and

:51:12.:51:21.

limestone chips, all laid by hand. Most of the people here are amateur

:51:21.:51:23.

but extremely enthusiastic volunteers. What I am looking for

:51:24.:51:32.

is some fit and strong young men with big muscles! David wants

:51:32.:51:40.

everything to be right. If that is the centre where the board finishes,

:51:40.:51:45.

I want you to put them two inches that way and two inches that way.

:51:45.:51:48.

have watched this garden for the last 20 years, and I came in here

:51:49.:51:52.

today and I could not believe what's happened in this short space

:51:52.:51:56.

of time. It is a great opportunity for lots of different people to get

:51:56.:52:00.

involved from different backgrounds and here you've got people from the

:52:00.:52:04.

college, you've got school-children, you've got people from the National

:52:04.:52:08.

Trust. And you've got people like myself from a local gardening club.

:52:08.:52:12.

It will be interesting to see what it does in five years' time.

:52:12.:52:18.

trick will be to ensure this hard work is sustained and let's hope

:52:18.:52:22.

that in ten years' time we will think, wow, what we are doing now

:52:22.:52:32.
:52:32.:52:50.

here today, this week, has all been It is fantastic the way it is

:52:51.:52:54.

coming together. Of course, not everybody on the ground can see it

:52:54.:52:57.

all coming together. You come up here, you get a bird's-eye view and

:52:57.:53:03.

you can see it happening. It is like somebody painting a picture

:53:03.:53:08.

and eventually the artist completes the picture and it is like that.

:53:08.:53:17.

The more activity, then all of a sudden the picture is complete.

:53:17.:53:22.

It's been a long and successful day. The borders are marked out, ready

:53:22.:53:31.

for planting. Where shall I go? Over here? Pretty hard work. Very

:53:31.:53:36.

rewarding to see all that we've done. Just to see how other people

:53:36.:53:46.
:53:46.:53:50.

work as well. It is great. Very tiring, but I shall sleep well!

:53:50.:53:56.

While work in the garden is well under way, the house is still on

:53:56.:54:00.

hold. We can't wait any longer or we will never open the manor on

:54:00.:54:05.

time. We have dispatched Dan and Anna to argue our case for colour,

:54:05.:54:15.
:54:15.:54:20.

regardless of the paint-scrape results. I am perplexed. We are

:54:20.:54:27.

going to use relevant examples from around England. We cannot be

:54:27.:54:32.

expected to have all the information. This is one thing. I

:54:32.:54:37.

thought we had agreed it. We need to hit home that this is all about

:54:37.:54:42.

what is it that gets visitors through the door? There's lots of

:54:42.:54:48.

talk about heritage tourism and staycations. Legoland in Windsor

:54:48.:54:53.

has God knows how many visitors a year. How do you get visitors into

:54:53.:54:58.

heritage properties? Absolutely. We are trying to help them realise

:54:58.:55:08.
:55:08.:55:10.

their own aims and ambitions, really. Everything hangs on our

:55:10.:55:20.
:55:20.:55:23.

experts convincing Lucy and Sarah from the Trust. Hello. Hi. Nice to

:55:23.:55:28.

see you. Come in. We meet again after that epic day touring around

:55:28.:55:31.

the house explaining our vision to you. The purpose of today is to

:55:31.:55:35.

perhaps re-state that vision and clearly, it's a different kind of

:55:35.:55:43.

thing for you. It's not a traditional National Trust project.

:55:43.:55:46.

It is not a traditional re- interpretation. It is about

:55:46.:55:49.

ambition and also, I think, what excites us about this project, and

:55:49.:55:54.

I think hopefully you, too, is the fact we can be experimental. How do

:55:54.:55:58.

you make things real for a visitor? How do you choreograph that

:55:58.:56:06.

experience? We are suggesting an interpretation. That's right.

:56:06.:56:11.

That's what's so exciting about the project. I think it's inspiration

:56:11.:56:16.

rather than re-creation. We agreed some way back that the references

:56:16.:56:22.

we would use and apply wouldn't be specifically from Avebury but from

:56:22.:56:26.

buildings of the right period, the right location, the right time.

:56:26.:56:32.

That is the agreement? Yes. If the paint-scrape comes back with paint

:56:32.:56:37.

- brilliant. If it doesn't, given that time is pressing, can we paint

:56:37.:56:44.

the ceiling? It's crunch time. If the Trust says OK, we can brighten

:56:44.:56:50.

up the house from top to bottom. If they say no, it's back to square

:56:50.:56:57.

one. What we are saying is that from the point of view of our

:56:57.:57:00.

visitors next year, we would explain to them that there is no

:57:00.:57:05.

evidence there was ever coloured paint there. But for the purposes

:57:05.:57:08.

of this project because there are precedents from other places, you

:57:08.:57:14.

know, we have gone ahead with a reversible paint scheme so we are

:57:14.:57:21.

saying yes. We are open to it. Brilliant. Let's give Russell a

:57:21.:57:25.

ring! He better get busy! At last, we have the green light from the

:57:25.:57:35.
:57:35.:57:43.

Trust and work on the house can Next time: Setting Avebury alight.

:57:43.:57:48.

Are we allowed to have real fires in the house? Most of the smoke

:57:48.:57:57.

will probably leak. Keeping fit and healthy, the 18th Century way.

:57:57.:58:03.

Secrets of the Tudor bed. yourself comfortable. As Anna and I

:58:03.:58:07.

get cosy. Good night, Penelope. Victorian kitchen range saved in

:58:07.:58:13.

the nick of time. It can be repaired. It is disappointing.

:58:13.:58:19.

Presented by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin, The Manor Reborn sees a team of historians, experts and volunteers reinterpreting 500-year-old Avebury Manor in Wiltshire, putting the country house in to a national and 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 only a few National Trust properties open to the public where they can touch, sit on and enjoy all aspects of the house.