New exhibition opens inside the Banbury country house that was ‘Made to Measure’

Upton House in 1927 NNL-170314-154027001
Upton House in 1927 NNL-170314-154027001
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Upton House estate, just outside Banbury, has unveiled its new exhibition that explores the home’s evolution after its acquisition by Lord and Lady Bearsted.

Bought in 1927, the Bearsteds quickly began work on the house making it their ‘made to measure’ home.

Michelle Leake, Emily Knight both of Upton House and Tom Carey from John D Woods estate agents who originally sold the house to the Bearsteds in 1927 NNL-170328-114514001

Michelle Leake, Emily Knight both of Upton House and Tom Carey from John D Woods estate agents who originally sold the house to the Bearsteds in 1927 NNL-170328-114514001

The three-year long exhibition will focus on the renovations, upgrades and bespoke additions the home underwent from 1927 through to 1937, and will feature regular seasonal and annual changes to simulate its transformation.

A Made to Measure Home will also focus on the expansive garden and landscaping changes that were also significant.

Michelle Leake, project manager, said: “We’ve got a couple of exhibitions that we know we want to bring in in May time.

“One of the things we’re working on now is we’re going to recreate the building site at the west end of the house where they built a picture gallery and created a terrace at that end of the house.

Ms Leake added: “We’ve got some fantastic images of how they did it and we want to recreate a family area. We will bring the story to the outdoors as well, so we’ve created all around the garden, viewing points of areas they particularly changed in the garden.”

All of the work for the exhibition has been done by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers using furniture from storage and images of the stately home from the period.

Ms Leake said: “There’s been 40 of our volunteers doing research but lots of them have been sewing and making things as well.

“We’re really quite proud because we have done everything in-house this time, so all of the design work that you see was done by Zoe [Knott] who works here.

“We’ve really tried to keep it authentic and we’re really passionate about what we’ve done here.”

Zoe Knott, who has worked at Upton House for the last three years, has been preparing the 1920s signs, and other graphics on display, since last September.

Mrs Knott said: “Largely what we have is a set of original documents that we used as inspiration for all of the graphics so we’ve got original sales documents.

“A lot of the graphics of the time were type setting and type faces and that sort of thing so we haven’t really reinvented anything, just used the original colour palettes and type faces from the original documents.”

The ‘Made to Measure’ exhibition is now open. Visitors to the exhibition will receive a printed card upon entry with photos and information about the house’s evolution.