Step inside Stowe House and you can see the wonderful results of one of the most comprehensive restoration projects of the 21st century. When work began on the exterior over a decade ago the scaffolding became the largest free standing structure in the world and visitors flocked from far and wide to get a glimpse of the restoration in action.

The restoration of Stowe House is funded by the Stowe House Preservation Trust (SHPT), a charity that is independent of Stowe School and the National Trust. SHPT was established in 1997 to raise funds for vital repair on the historic fabric of Stowe House, and to enable this impressive ducal palace to be accessible. 

Over the last 15 years, fundraising has focused on the external structure and the State Room interiors but we have also worked with various partners to bring back or copy key items from the Estate’s long history. On several occasions, lost treasures have unexpectedly emerged or we have had the opportunity to recreate them with the permission of their owners. These beautiful artefacts can now be seen as you walk through the Discovery Centre, Large Library, Music Room, and Marble Saloon, and on the South Front steps and balustrade. SHPT’s fundraising efforts have helped to rebuild the majesty and nobility of the Mansion and have allowed us to share Stowe’s stories with the Stowe community and the public but the story isn’t finished, yet.

“We hope that you share our vision for Stowe and that visitors will continue to be enraptured and inspired by the spirit of the English Enlightenment and the poetry of the place.”
Stewardship of one of the country’s grandest 18th-century houses remains an immense task. As we embark on the final stages of the restoration, we face one final challenge, that of finding funds to match those already raised so that we can complete the work which started nearly twenty years ago. There are, of course, the added challenges that don’t affect the average country house
restoration, because its function as a school continues simultaneously...

The State Dining Room was pivotal to many grand occasions.

Raising the funds necessary for this phase of restoration is now critical. The State Dining Room, and its adjacent State Drawing Room, are the last of the major State Rooms at Stowe requiring significant restoration. Over the years, thousands of pairs of feet have trodden on the floorboards which now require replacement, while the ceiling has suffered the ravages of time. The State Dining Room remains in use today, with 1,000 staff and pupils using it during term time. It also serves much grander purposes, as it has welcomed royalty and revellers over the years.