BBC viewers to get glimpse of Plymouth's magical estate in new Hidden Treasures series

Curator Zoe Shearman in the Saltram Saloon following the installation of the protective reweave created by Axminster Carpets
Curator Zoe Shearman in the Saltram Saloon following the installation of the protective reweave created by Axminster Carpets -Credit:National Trust/Steve Haywood

A magical National Trust house in Plymouth will take centre stage as Hidden Treasures of the National Trust returns to the BBC for its much-anticipated second series.

The series premieres on Friday, May 10, on BBC Two, when all episodes will also be made available on BBC iPlayer. Episode five will showcase Saltram, offering viewers a unique glimpse into the intricate conservation work and passionate efforts of the staff and volunteers at this historic site.

Scheduled for 9pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, the programme will reveal new and compelling stories about the work going on behind the scenes at the National Trust to conserve incredible objects and properties and the dedicated people who care for them.

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Each episode explores a different central theme, linking the houses, their histories, and collections as they undergo conservation. From graceful Georgian homes that were platforms for political power, to houses that become display cases for the curious collections of their owners and properties designed as show-homes for the English country house idyll.

Saltram, alongside Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire, will be showcased in episode five of the series. Viewers will gain an exclusive look at the inner workings as staff and volunteers tackle three major conservation projects, including the meticulous installation of the reweave copy of the Saloon’s spectacular Axminster carpet.

Visitors looking at the Axminster carpet in the Saloon at Saltram
Visitors looking at the Axminster carpet in the Saloon at Saltram -Credit:National Trust Images/Sophie Bolesworth

Zoe Shearman, Property Curator at Saltram said: “We are proud to share the stories of three major conservation projects as part of series two of Hidden Treasures of the National Trust. Each project represents a ground-breaking approach to conservation and enhances public access to our treasured collections. We believe that the series will not only enlighten but also inspire viewers to experience the beauty and history of Saltram first-hand.”

The six-part series will visit some of the National Trust’s best-known locations including Stourhead in Wiltshire and Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk as well as lesser-known treasures such as Mr Straw’s House, the time-capsule home of a grocer’s family in Nottinghamshire.

Alistair Pegg, BBC Arts commissioning editor, said: “I’m delighted to be delving behind the scenes once more at the National Trust, uncovering hidden histories of houses and their owners, secrets of the painstaking conservation carried out on beautiful objects and buildings, and the wonderful staff and volunteers who work, often unsung, across the country.”

Tarnya Cooper, Curatorial and Conservation Director at the National Trust, said: “History comes to life before you at National Trust properties. Across hundreds of sites we have well over a million objects, which tell fascinating stories of the generations of people who commissioned, made and loved them.

“Looking after such diverse objects and places takes dedicated teams of people as well as expert conservators, and we hope BBC viewers will enjoy learning more about them and their work on wonderful collections ranging from must-see paintings and furniture to books and textiles to amazing architectural features.”

Saltram is open seven days a week from 11am – 4.30pm. Please note last admission to the garden is 45 minutes before closing time. Last admission to the house is 45 minutes before closing time. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook for latest news.

Saltram features in episode five which will air on 7 June, however all episodes will land on BBC iPlayer on 10 May, when the first episode airs.