Upstairs, downstairs: life in British stately homes and town houses

Annual Conference British Records Association jointly with The Historic Houses Archivists Group  

Tuesday 2 December 2014


09.45   Registration and coffee

10.15   Welcome

Anthony Smith, Chair of the British Records Association

10.20  ‘Let each man do his best’: The Percy Family and their staff in the First    World War, 1914-1918’

Christopher Hunwick, Archivist to the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle and Syon House

11.00 ” A More Steady and Moral Set of Servants I never saw” : the Sutherland Collection as a research source for the domestic household of Trentham, Staffordshire, 1830-50. 

Pamela Sambrook, Consultant to the National Trust and English Heritage

11.40 ‘Between Upstairs and Downstairs: Archives and the architecture of later medieval-early Tudor domestic administrators’

Peter Brears, former director of York and Leeds city museums and museum and country house consultant.

12.30 Lunch (buffet supplied)

Please note: The BRA AGM will take place from 13:35 to 14:00 during the lunch period – non-members welcome to attend AGM as observers.

Time has been set aside for lunch to allow delegates to view Syon House with its portraits and (weather permitting) the gardens.

14.00  Palladian and Practical: Country House Technology at Holkham Hall

Christine Hiskey, Archivist at Holkham Hall

14.40 ‘One of the family? The nanny in town and country houses in 20th Century Britain’

Dr Katherine Holden, research fellow in history at the University of the West of England

15.20 : ‘Taxidermy and the Country House’.

Dr Pat Morris, former senior lecturer in Zoology at Royal Holloway, University of London, member of National Trust Council

16.00 Tea

16.30 Maurice Bond Memorial lecture – Jeremy Musson

“Trinity College Cambridge servants in the nineteenth century: from household to hotel: with comparison to roles, duties and rewards of nineteenth century country house service”

Distinguished author, editor and presenter, who has made an outstanding contribution to the study of the history of British country houses and architecture.



British Records Association with the Historic Houses Archivists Group

Syon Park, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 8JF 2 December 2014

                                 With thanks to the Duke of Northumberland for providing Syon House as the venue                            


Public Transport: For directions and latest travel news visit

Plan your journey by using TFL’s Journey Planner

By Rail: From Waterloo to Kew Bridge then bus as below or North London line to Gunnersbury then bus as below. Syon House is a walk of about 1 mile from Brentford or Syon Lane Stations. contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950 for more information

By Coach

For more information, please contact Stagecoach on 01604 676060.

By Underground: District Line to Gunnersbury, 237 or 267 bus to Brentlea Gate bus stop. Pedestrian entrance 50 yards.

Central Line to Ealing Broadway, E2 bus to Brentford Holiday Inn.  Pedestrian entrance 150 yards.

Piccadilly Line to Boston Manor, E8 bus to Brentford Holiday Inn.  Pedestrian entrance 150 yards.

By Road: Vehicle entrance – Park Road, IsleworthThere is free parking

M4 from West Exit junction 3, right at the roundabout and follow the signs to the A4 and London. Turn right at Gillette/Homebase traffic lights and follow signs to Syon Park

A4 from West Turn right at Gillette/Homebase traffic lights and follow signs to Syon Park

From South West M3-A316, left on A310 through Isleworth, on past West Middlesex Hospital, hard right into Park Road, Isleworth

M4 from Central London Exit junction 2, go 1 1/4 miles on A4 to Gillette corner, left to Isleworth and Syon House

From Kew Bridge A315 through Brentford, left at traffic lights after Syon Lodge.

From Richmond A 316 westbound over Twickenham Bridge, second right on A310 through Isleworth, then on past West Middlesex Hospital, hard right into Park Road, Isleworth.

For any other requirements please contact British Records Association in advance.. For enquiries re access call Syon House 020 8560 0882 or email

For map and further information see

The British Records Association,c/o Finsbury Library,245 St John Street,London EC1V 4NB

T +44 (0)20 7833 0428

The British Records Association is a registered charity (no. 227464/ACL) founded in 1932. The Association aims to encourage and assist with the preservation, care, use and publication of records. For further information about the British Records Association or for a membership form please contact

The conference is now fully booked.