University of Leicester Exhibition: “Creating Home: 100 Years of Architectural Change at Lamport Hall (1800-1900)” Northamptonshire, 20 April – 12 October 2014

Leicester, UK,  3-4-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Exhibition by University of Leicester research student to take place at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire, between 20 April – 12 October 2014

Media/ photo opportunity: Exhibition opening 11.30am on Tuesday 8 April at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire. Contact Megan Leyland at: if you plan to attend.

From a stoic baronet to a managing mother, to a true Victorian eccentric and his philanthropic wife, Lamport Hall’s major new exhibition will tell the story of how the country house was transformed into a fashionable and comfortable home by members of the Isham family.

Curated by Megan Leyland, a postgraduate research student from the University of Leicester, and showcasing new and original research, “Creating Home: 100 Years of Architectural Change at Lamport Hall (1800 – 1900)” opens on Sunday 20 April and will use documents from the extensive Isham archives, previously unseen by the public, to give a tantalising glimpse into life at Lamport.

Megan said: “Home is a concept we can all relate to. Though many of us are not fortunate enough to be able to alter the structures of the buildings we live in, we can all identify with the need to populate these buildings with objects that mean something to us as individuals, or with the desire to decorate our homes to match our personal taste. This is all part of turning a house into a home.

“Each generation of the Isham family did this at Lamport Hall and “Creating Home” aims to bring this process to life in the period where Lamport Hall as we know it today really began to take shape.”

“Creating Home” draws upon brand-new unpublished research undertaken by Megan, PhD candidate at the University of Leicester, as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded collaborative doctoral award between the University of Leicester and The Lamport Hall Preservation Trust.

A behind the scenes look at the 19th century design process will illuminate the roles of owners and architects in determining the very personal project of making a home as well as revealing a hidden unbuilt Lamport.

Drawings in the exhibition will include an abortive scheme for the entrance gates, a moving servants’ hall, and successive designs and redesigns of the house’s exterior architecture, many displayed here for the first time. This iconic Northamptonshire country house could have looked very different.

The garden and house interiors were adapted to reflect the personalities of the colourful and vibrant characters who lived at Lamport. Highlights include archival photographs of Sir Charles Isham’s unique and bizarre collection of “one of a kind” curiosities, featuring the first ever garden gnomes, one of which can still be seen at the house today.

Books written, illustrated and printed by Sir Charles Isham and other personal objects will also be on display for the first time.

Finally, a collection of extraordinary photographs will reveal how Lamport Hall was used by the Ishams in the 19th century offering an intimate view of family events from weddings to divining for water on the house’s grounds.

“Creating Home” will be accompanied by a study day led by Megan Leyland on Tuesday 10 June 2014 between 10:00am – 3:00pm entitled “Incompetent Architects, Over Enthusiastic Wives and Eccentric Husbands: the Architecture of the Nineteenth Century Northamptonshire Country House”.

Using a series of case studies, three lectures will consider the impact of gender upon architecture, interrogate the processes of design and reassess a period of country house architecture presently under-represented in scholarship.

Admission is free with the purchase of a house ticket. For more information see: / 01604 686272.

Creating Home: 100 Years of Architectural Change at Lamport Hall (1800- 1900) at Lamport Hall will take place from 20 April to 12 October, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 3:00pm to 5:00pm and Bank holiday Sundays and Mondays 2:00pm to 5:00pm.


Notes to editors:

For further press information please contact Megan Leyland, University of Leicester, at:


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