As we prepare to launch our Banking for Victory project at the end of March, Upton is in a state of transition at the moment! If you have been to visit recently, you might have noticed a few changes…
Excitement for this season’s project is building, and as you explore the house you can see hints of the new project emerging. We are transforming the property from the Millionaire’s House Party of the 1930s to the experiences of the 1940s. When war was declared in 1939 the family moved out, and their merchant bank, M. Samuel & Co., moved in. The Long Gallery was transformed to a banking hall, guest bedrooms were transformed into dormitories where the single staff lived while they worked here. The family rooms were mothballed as the family moved to London for the duration of the war, only visiting Upton House on occasional weekends.
One of the key differences this year is that we will no longer be using the front door of the house. The Bank staff only ever used the back door, so this is where visitors will enter the house this year. It gives a completely new perspective to the visit. As from March, this change will enable you to imagine what it would have been like for the ordinary people who came to live and work in this extraordinary place – from the moment you arrive at the back door.
Around the house, behind closed doors, lie rooms that are being decorated, dressed and created. We have tried to keep our main rooms open to enable visitors to still see our wonderful art and porcelain collection. You may see furniture being covered over with dust sheets in the family side of the house. Lady Bearsted’s Bedroom has been transformed already.
We hope you enjoy seeing the transformation at Upton House & Gardens – in person or online. Please come to enjoy the unique project when our work will be complete in April.