A world of privileged children, their nursemaids, governesses and tutors has been recreated from household accounts, diaries and watercolours painted by the Braybrooke children, and visitors will be able to experience the rooms as they were intended, with a host of toys to play with and items to discover.
“These rooms have lain dormant for over 60 years,” says Sarah Tafham of English Heritage. “The last time they were used was during the Second World War [when the house was given to the military for training]. When we reopened the rooms, all the wallpaper was peeling off – it was quite romantic in a way. What we’ve done is try and breathe life back into the house.”
The nursery was recreated based on watercolours made by the children, who were all keen painters. And because most items are replicas, there are no red velvet ropes, no alarms – you can even lie on the beds if you want to. “Visitors can sit on the chairs, play with the toys and really enjoy the space,” says Sarah.
“We want to get across the sense that this was a real house where real people lived.” The nursery opens to the public from April 1.