National Trust launches appeal to save Knole House

Knole House Knole House was built as part of an archbishop's palace in the 15th Century

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A medieval stately home in Kent needs £2.7m to carry out urgent repairs to protect its important collections of furniture and tapestries.

The National Trust has launched a public appeal to raise funds for Knole House, near Sevenoaks.

The trust, which owns the building, says water leaks and pest infestations are putting important collections at risk.

Knole was built as part of an archbishop's palace in 1456.

Set in a 1,000-acre deer park, the palace of Thomas Bourchier, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, was extended by his successors until Henry VIII forced Archbishop Cranmer to hand it over.

In 1604, Thomas Sackville, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth I, became the owner of Knole.

Over 400 years, the Sackville family amassed collections of furniture from royal palaces, paintings, textiles and other objects from around the world.

The trust has written to supporters asking for help, describing Knole as the "most precious and fragile" property in its portfolio.

It has also applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £7.5m grant.

Plans for a major facelift include opening new rooms to the public and building a conservation studio.

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