Back stairs of Peckover House in Wisbech repaird and redecorated ready to open
VISITORS to Peckover House in Wisbech will see more of what life was like behind the scenes as the back stairs of the town house will be revealed to the public. A stunning mosaic floor has been repaired and the area redecorated as it was in the Peckover e
VISITORS to Peckover House in Wisbech will see more of what life was like behind the scenes as the back stairs of the town house will be revealed to the public.
A stunning mosaic floor has been repaired and the area redecorated as it was in the Peckover era, in a bid to give National Trust visitors more of a flavour of what life was like when the banking family lived in the classic Georgian merchant's townhouse in Wisbech.
House Steward, Carole French, said: "The whole point of opening this area is because of the many questions we got from visitors who noticed the main stairs only go up to the first floor.
"This staircase would have been used by the family because it is the only set of stairs which go to the top of the house. That is one reason we've done it."
Unlike many National Trust houses where the servants would use a different staircase, the Peckovers had to use the back stairs to get to the top of the house.
In the recent years more efforts have been made by Peckover House and other National Trust properties to create more of an atmosphere at the properties.
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House manager Ben Ricketts came up with the idea of adding a room fragrance which makes the downstairs kitchen smell like bread.
They have also built artificial fires which look like the real thing, laid the dining room table for dinner and left a pair of glasses and an open book out as if one of the Peckovers have just been in the room.
He said: "It's about taking down the barriers. You can walk around the tables and walk up to the paintings - a bit like you can at a museum, but it's not a museum.
"It's more about telling the story of the people who lived here, rather than saying this was built in 1860. It gives people more of a feel of the place."
Volunteers will also be dressing up as the Peckovers once a month, and giving visitors a short introduction to the history of the house when they arrive.
Mr Ricketts said: "It's like a condensed version of the guide book."
The house has already held behind the scenes tours for a number of years where visitors are shown areas of the house including the cellars and old bank vault which are normally off-limits. These are to be extended this year.
• Peckover House reopens on March 13.