Knebworth House, Education and Preservation Trust

In 2012 Knebworth House was designated by English Heritage as a Priority Building at Risk. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT…

Knebworth Restoration before and after

Before and After

“To preserve conserve restore and maintain for the educational and aesthetic benefit of the public now and in the future the Mansion known as Knebworth House Knebworth in the County of Hertford its historically associated chattels muniments and other contents the surrounding gardens outbuildings forest and parkland including neighbouring buildings of historic social aesthetic and architectural association with the Mansion in particular St Mary’s Church the Mausoleum the Manor and Lodge Barns in Knebworth Park”
(From the Trust’s constitution)

Knebworth statue

It takes more than a breath to say it, and it took more than a few years to set it up, but in 1984 Knebworth House was given a new lease of life by the creation of the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust. With the support of the local authorities, the Lytton Cobbold family was able to raise an endowment that it gifted, along with a long lease on the house and gardens, to the Charitable Trust.

In the years that have followed the Trust has made a major contribution to urgent repairs and the general restoration of the house and gardens. It has also made available many of the resources of the house and gardens for education, and students of all ages continue to benefit. The Trust is a fine example of how cooperation between local authorities and private owners can help preserve the national heritage. However the Trust’s present endowment is insufficient to secure the future of this precious national asset.

Support The Trust

The Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust needs your support. Below are five ways you can support the Trust:

Knebworth house KHEPT

1. Visit Knebworth House and Gardens, Bring your family to visit during our “open season”, weekends and school holidays from April to September

2. Hire Knebworth House and Gardens for your special event. Book your family wedding, anniversary party or business launch in our unique surroundings.

3. Express your support for the Trust to your local and national government representatives. They have the means to assist the Trust to raise its endowment.

4. Make a donation to the Trust. A gift or legacy made to the charity may enable you to obtain tax relief on the donation.

5. Become a “Friend of KHEPT”, and enjoy unlimited access on public open days to all public areas of the House, Gardens and Park.

For more information on current projects and how you can support the work of the Trust, please view our KHEPT leaflet (pdf) or contact the Secretary,, 01438 812661



For non-UK donations please contact us We can take payment by debit/credit card. Your help is much appreciated. Thank you.



Knebworth Sandford LogoThe Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust offers education programmes for students of all ages. Using first-hand source material, our experienced educators bring Knebworth’s extraordinary history to life. This commitment has been recognized by the receipt of the Sandford Award for excellence in heritage education, which the Trust has held consistently since 2001.

 Brass Rubbing in the Library




Saved plaster

The Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust has completed five out of ten phases of a programme of essential repairs to the structure of Knebworth House.

While money is outstanding to complete this programme, the Charitable Trust’s efforts are concentrated on halting the decay of the 500 year-old house and 28-acre garden’s most vulnerable decorative features. With repair costs continuing to rise and resources continuing to diminish, the battle to save Knebworth House is a battle against time.

Costs to complete the essential repairs are currently estimated at £9 million. The Charitable Trust needs to secure an endowment beyond this figure to continue the preservation of Knebworth House into the future.

The Watchman’s Tower Project

Knebworth house turret


The Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £85,000 for an exciting two-year project to restore the interior of the Watchman’s Tower at Knebworth House. The project will include the installation of a staircase, floors and the creation of roof access to enable visitors to climb to the top of the tower and see the fantastic views of the surrounding parkland, Stevenage and Knebworth House itself. A new digital app will ensure that all visitors can enjoy the views for themselves, even if they are not able to climb the stairs. Information panels will be located at the site and role play costumes will be available for children to experience playing the role of the watchman.

The support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will see the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust working in partnership with pupils and teachers from Stevenage to create and trial a new education programme for schools. Work experience opportunities will be created for young people from the local community.