Secret chamber under Cliveden opened for first time in 30 years

Emma Billingham

Emma Billingham

Secret chamber under Cliveden opened for first time in 30 years

Originally published on Thursday, May 19.

A new musical installation will be opening to the public tomorrow (Friday) in a historic chamber sat in the south terrace of National Trust property Cliveden House.

 Being opened to the public for the first time in 30 years, the chamber has undergone restoration work to remove damaged and peeling rendering from the walls.

The work uncovered hidden funnels in the ceiling and intricate brickwork that had been adapted over time.

It is believed the room was used for musical performances, a theory supported by the acoustics of the domed space.

Contemporary sound artist Robin Rimbaud, known as Scanner, has been commissioned to create a musical installation that will encourage visitors to reflect on Cliveden’s stories and the unique chamber.

His piece is entitled Ghosts.

He said:  “I wanted to create a work that draws people in, using music and sounds to paint an image of how Cliveden might have sounded over the last 350 years.

“I want people to feel as if at any moment a performance is about to start but is never quite revealed. I want them to see with their ears.”

He continued: “Ghosts is an ode to history, and to an astonishing building. It attempts to capture the grandeur, scale and character of the architecture in a captivating and moving manner.”

Visitors to Cliveden will be able to hear Scanner’s recordings and visit the sounding chamber from tomorrow until restoration work begins on the section of terrace above in September.

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