Making your mark on Ickworth Uncovered

As part of Ickworth’s ambitious conservation works, this summer, Ickworth is asking visitors to become a part of history by signing the slate which will re-tile the Rotunda roof.

The project ‘Ickworth Uncovered’ will help keep the building and its significant collection protected for years to come. 

The iconic Rotunda was the vision of the 4th Earl of Bristol (the ‘Earl Bishop’) in 1795; a showcase to display his impressive treasures. Ickworth’s architecture is a feat of craftsmanship which began in the late eighteenth century and has continued to the modern day. 

During Ickworth Uncovered construction experts will cut and shape Westmorland green slate, on site to fit the Rotunda roof, a process which was first completed at Ickworth in 1806 by the stonemasons De Carle. Back to 2019, construction workers will be replacing 7000 slates weighing 42 tonnes, taking them off the domed roof and individually shaping the new slate to create the dome. 

The new slate, which is the same type of slate that was put on the roof over two hundred years before, will begin to make its way up to the roof when construction starts in July, Throughout the years many Craftspeople have worked on the building; with evidence of this shown in the carvings of names on the beams in the Rotunda attic. (See photos) Supporters and visitors of Ickworth will now be able to inscribe their own names and messages onto the slate and make their own legacy. 

Tim Watson, General Manager at Ickworth “This is a fantastic opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on Ickworth, to support our conservation project, on a roof which will be there for hundreds of years to come!”

“At Ickworth’s Country Estate Fayre on 29 and 30 June, visitors will be given the very first opportunity to sign a slate. From a signature and message to getting a whole slate for your entire family and friends, there are affordable options for all.”

“The signatures we receive will be a testament to the visitors who have and continue to support and love Ickworth.”

The Fayre is a celebration of the skills and traditions of a country estate then, and now. Across the weekend, visitors will be able to enjoy a range of activities and countryside skills, from bee keeping to wood milling, as well as live music, artisan street food and a children’s activity zone.  

Ickworth’s Country Estate Fayre