Opportunity to scale the roof of Petworth House

The roof top view of Petworth  CONTRIBUTED
The roof top view of Petworth CONTRIBUTED

THERE is a rare chance this summer to glimpse the Petworth deer park and the scenic South Downs beyond from the world of the chimney sweeps.

Visitors to Petworth House have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take in the views from the top of the mansion roof.

It is all thanks to a major re-roofing project which is currently underway at the historic house where the National Trust is carrying out essential conservation repairs to the roof in order to protect Petworth’s highly significant collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and other items for future generations.

“By joining a roof tour you will also be helping to fund this vital conservation work,” said a spokesman for the National Trust.

“During the 1970s the roof of Petworth House was largely recovered using aluminium, which has degraded over a period of time allowing rain water to penetrate the top floor rooms causing damage.

“Thanks to a generous donation from The Monument Trust, a private legacy and additional National Trust fundraising efforts, the roof can now be repaired with long lasting lead replacing the aluminium and protect the priceless contents from deterioration.”

The repairs will see an area of the roof replaced which is the size of three tennis courts and will ensure the house is watertight for many generations to come.

From mid-July visitors will be able to climb an external staircase to a viewing platform and see the Grade 1 listed, Capability Brown landscaped, historic deer park.

Roof tours are expected to run from Saturday, July 18 to Sunday, September 27.

The tours are for limited numbers and tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis and cannot be pre-booked.

Tours cost £5 for each person including trust members. All proceeds go to ongoing conservation work at Petworth House.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the roof repairs, tours, or volunteering as a roof tour guide, should see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth