Knole – designed to explain

Interpreting Knole's long and complex history and the significance of its collections presents a number of challenges.

For a start, there are just 13 show rooms, in a palace which is famouly described as a "calendar house" with a room for each day of the year. Then there are its treasures – many of them items of furniture from the Royal Palaces, gained as "perks" of service at court. Put on display and more or less untouched for centuries, many of them are faded and threadbare due to light damage. If they'd been in even occasional use, they would have worn out and been re-upholstered generations ago, but these are the originals – and all the more significant for it.

This room lays out the bones of Knole's multi-faceted story – in text, images, a tactile, interactive model that vividly illustrates the development of the house and the use of its many areas, and a range of touch-screen interactives.

Accessibility was a guiding principle throughout the whole of the design and development process, with audio and sign language versions of the text in the virtual tour, to an audio-described touch tour of the model.

A blind volunteer evaluating the audio description of the model

Continue to the Presentation Room.

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