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Kingswood Warren

Category: BBC

Date: 06.09.2004
Printable version

Kingswood Warren opens its doors to the public

Kingswood Warren, the 19th century Surrey estate that now houses the BBC's world-renowned Research & Development Department (R&D), will again open its doors to members of the public on 11 and 12 September as part of a national weekend of Heritage Open Days, organised by the Civic Trust and English Heritage.


Visitors will not only be able to look round the impressive reception rooms and the beautiful grounds, but will also be able to experience some of the technical broadcasting wizardry of the BBC making the impossible appear to happen before their eyes.


They can transport themselves through a secret door into a virtual world, and for a small charge take away a videotape recording their exploits.


There will also be exhibitions on the achievements of BBC R&D and on the history of the Kingswood Warren estate.


Organised by the Civic Trust and English Heritage, Heritage Days open up the doors of buildings of historical or architectural interest that are normally closed to the public.


Andrew Oliphant, Head of Transmission Group at BBC Research & Development, said: "We look forward to welcoming the public to Kingswood Warren on Heritage Open Days.


"Our visitors will see not only a building that has played its part in local history, but also how R&D helps the BBC deliver quality and value for money to the licence payers, our viewers and listeners."


Kingswood Warren can be found off the southbound carriageway of the A217, just south of the Tadworth roundabout.


Parking is available in the grounds. Drinks and light refreshments will be on sale.


The grounds of Kingswood Warren and the ground floor reception rooms of the old estate will be open between 10.00am and 4.00pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September. Entrance is free.


Notes to Editors


A nominal charge of £1 will be made to cover the cost of the videotape.


About Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days is a national event, part of European Heritage Days, taking place across 48 countries. Heritage Open Days take place all across England, except London.


Similar events are organised in London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in September.

Up to 2,500 buildings across England will open to the public free of charge for this year's Heritage Open Days, from 10 to 13 September 2004. Historic listed buildings will open alongside contemporary developments, with properties ranging from private housing, castles, museums and theatres to offices, factories and military sites.

The national event, which last year attracted more than 800,000 visitors and involved more than 26,000 volunteers, is an annual celebration of our built heritage - old and new - and encourages people across the country to discover the riches of their local environment. It is co-ordinated nationally by the Civic Trust in partnership with English Heritage, which also core funds the scheme.

Local property openings and events are organised by civic societies, local authorities, amenity societies, museums, and owners and managers of buildings.

Royal & Sun Alliance sponsors the free insurance cover for participating properties and activities.

Heritage Open Days is also supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Council of Europe.


About Kingswood Warren

The estate is first mentioned as far back as Domesday Book and has had a varied past as a private house, young ladies finishing school and a hotel before the BBC acquired it in 1948.


It was built in the 1830s by Thomas Alcock, who also built nearby St Andrew's Church. Some features of his house survive, but it has been much altered by subsequent owners, amongst them Sir John Cradock Hartopp (who fought and lost a long legal battle to enclose the commons); Cosmo Bonsor (a financier who was Chairman of the Southern Railway and was responsible for the building of the Tattenham Corner line) and Joseph Rank (founder of the Rank milling empire).

The BBC bought the house with its surrounding grounds after the Second World War, and its Research Department moved there from Bagley Croft near Oxford.


Since then, engineers at Kingswood have led many advances in broadcasting technology - the choice of a colour TV system for the UK, the first electronic TV standards converter, teletext, NICAM stereo, digital radio, and most recently digital TV.

In the last few years, the main reception rooms of the estate have been restored (one of them was a laboratory for many years) for use as a conference suite for national and international technical meetings and demonstrations.


About BBC R&D

BBC Research & Development is a world leading centre for media production and broadcasting technology. It helps the BBC to build public value by innovating in technology in support of the BBC's public service purpose.


R&D has been recognised by their peers in the industry winning many awards including four Emmy Awards, seven Queen's Award for Industry Awards and several Royal Television Society technical awards.

There are around 160 engineers, mathematicians and scientists, all of whom play a vital role in the conception, development and implementation of techniques and systems used by the BBC and throughout the world. Even the grounds are used for testing purposes.

Its current work includes:
• spectrum planning for TV and radio – recommending what transmitters are needed, where, and using what frequencies;
• Digital Radio Mondiale – digital radio for the long, medium, and short wave bands;
• digital TV services – interactivity, electronic programme guides, and reception improvements;
• access services for TV – subtitling, signing, and audio description;
• wireless techniques in broadcast production;
• virtual production for TV – computer-generated sets and virtual actors;
• production technology – enabling TV and radio production from a computer desktop;
• developing new services for, the BBC's website.





The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Category: BBC

Date: 06.09.2004
Printable version


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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