Repair and alteration of a 17th Century mansion and new visitor reception facilities, car park and drive at Dyrham Park.

Dyrham is a Grade I Listed country house, built for William Blathwayt to the designs of William Talman, set in an ancient deer park (270 acre), Grade II* registered, in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Ferguson Mann Architects has worked for the National Trust at Dyrham, since 1998. Our initial project was an exploration of options for the relocation of the visitor reception and car park. We wanted the new visitor car park to have minimum visual and physical impact and to be part of a strategy to remove visitor traffic and parking from the main environs of the house. This was achieved by positioning the car park along the eastern boundary of the park and out of view.

The visitor reception is a deliberately understated timber-framed building, providing ticketing and shelter for a regular shuttle bus service to take visitors to the house. The building is a practical response to the brief and site, offering a flexible, open-plan space within a simple structure. It complies with all the National Trust’s requirements for environmental sustainability, utilising sheep’s wool insulation, low energy light fittings, solar control glazing and shading to prevent over-heating.

Since completing work on the visitor centre, Ferguson Mann Architects have undertaken various repairs and alterations to the house including forming new apartments, staircase and new visitor routes. In addition, we have undertaken quinquennial surveys of the estate buildings and the Mansion.