History of Stowe House Preservation Trust


After Stowe School was formed in 1923 subsequently after the sale of the Stowe estate, the governors focused on providing facilities for the pupils. As time went on, the repairs required for the house continued to mount up and in 1990 the Stowe House Fund was launched. With the aid of grants, repairs were made to the State Dining Room roof, the West Pavilion, the Marble Saloon oculus and Aurelian Room. It became evident after time that a full restoration was needed, yet the school could not take on such a large task as an educational charity. In 1997 our charity, the Stowe House Preservation Trust was founded.  

Our mission is to restore and preserve Stowe House for the benefit of the nation and the public. We own the house on a ninety-nine year lease. The School remains our tenant.  

Restoration begins

Within three years we began physical work on the fabric of the house – the largest restoration of any eighteenth-century historic house in the United Kingdom and possibly the world. The significance of this work was indicated by the fact that Stowe House is on the English Heritage Register of Buildings at Risk and in 2002 was placed on the World Monuments Fund’s list of the hundred most endangered sites.  

To date, the Trust has spent £26 million on multiple phases of work. Take a look through our before and after images to see how the projects have unfolded through the years.

A tunnel was built for students to pass between the servery and Drawing Room

Our latest project - The State Dining Room

We're pleased to announce the opening of the State Dining Room to visitors once again after restoration was completed in June 2023. This magnificent room has been transformed into a richly decorated space brimming with colour and dazzling with gilding to echo the 1740s when the room was in its heyday. 

Read all about our latest project which concludes the final phase of planned restoration of the State Rooms in this detailed restoration article.