Lauderdale Transformed: The Historic Galleries

by lauderdale-house in Waterlow Park

We did it
On 29th April 2015 we successfully raised £10,765 with 120 supporters in 55 days

We need to transform our galleries to preserve our heritage, upgrade our facilities and secure our future as an arts and education centre.

by lauderdale-house in Waterlow Park

Preserve our heritage and ensure arts and education for the future in North London.

PLEASE NOTE: Our Crowdfunding campaign has now ended but you can still donate to our campaign! We have had a great deal of support via this page and also from people who have sent us cheques or dropped off cash to the House, raising over £25,000 in total.  However, we need to continue fundraising for this project to meet its full potential.

If you would like to support us, please visit our website to find out more information about the project and how to donate:

About the Project

Be part of creating a new history for our Tudor galleries which were built in 1582 and has been lived in by King Charles II, his colourful mistress and famous actress Nell Gwynn, the great reformer William Mead, three philanthropist Lord Mayors of London and the diaryist Samuel Pepys.

Join us to create a new future for our galleries as we preserve and reveal their historic features and transform the spaces to create endless new opportunities for arts and education in the 21st century.

We need £125,000 to complete the transformation.

This is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to:

  • Revitalise the galleries
  • Provide more arts and education for all
  • Install a lifting platform to become fully accessible
  • Protect our heritage for generations to come

This project is part of a larger project for which we have already raised £1,800,000 BUT we urgently need an additional £125,000 to complete the work on these galleries and transform them into a creative and historic centre-piece to the building. We need these funds before we put the tenders out to the builders in April so your contribution NOW will genuinely make all the difference.

Choose from the list of benefits on the right hand side of this page for great opportunities to enjoy the galleries, our heritage and the amazing creative programme at Lauderdale House as a thankyou for your support today. If you like a Reward but would like to donate more than the amount listed, simply click and add to your donation on the next page.


About Lauderdale House

This Grade II* listed building is run as a registered charity (no.275502) and is situated in the beautiful Waterlow Park in North London, near Highgate Cemetery.  Since 1978, it has operated an extensive arts and education programme welcoming 65,000 people across the threshold each day.  Our visitors are very diverse and come for many reasons but above all this is a place for people to celebrate their own individuality and try new things.Nonetheless we are real danger of spiralling into decline without this project.  Years of ‘making do and mending’ are taking their toll on the building and our fascinating history is being overlooked.Lauderdale Transformed is our one opportunity to transform this situation and will enable many more people to discover the stories of our past, learn, experiment and enjoy workshops, exhibitions and performances in beautiful galleries.  It will also ensure the fabric of the building for the future and enable us to earn more income and become financially self sufficient, independent of grant income.If you’d like to find out more about our current programme simply browse our website at  And find out more about the larger project by clicking the fundraising banner on the homepage.

How this project transforms…

Revitalised Galleries

This watercolour on the left from 1858 shows the immense potential to transform the galleries from their current basic, slightly neglected and still unfinished state.

With this project they will receive a complete makeover - a new paint scheme, new carpets, new doors, completion of the unfinished walls and ceiling in the Long Gallery, and the installation bespoke a lighting adaptable for the variety of activities which take place. The historic features will be highlighted and preserved, emphasising the unique history of the architecture of the house and bringing to life the stories of those who lived here.

"It is without doubt one of the most charming and, in my opinion, most beautiful exhibition spaces and the number of people who come back to exhibit again and again is great tribute to the affection in which the House is held."

- Chris Barlow, former gallery owner

More Arts and Education for All

We will turn the galleries into amazing creative spaces where artists and performers can do their very best work, and audiences and people taking part in workshops and classes can have the very best experience.

We will be able to run more activities, exhibitions and performances and expand our outreach work bringing young people to the House and park for the first time to inspire them with its heritage and creative environment.

"Visiting lauderdale House and playing Victorian games firsthand certainly gave a better insight into what life was like then rather than simply looking a picture in the classroom."

- Barnaby Howes, teacher Brookfield School

"We want to try and keep this tradition of music in the House going and keep inspiring the younger generation of musicians and music lovers so, if we can keep this place running well it is for the greater good."

- The Billroth Quartet, our resident musicians.

"Lauderdale is part of the memories and childhoods of a lot of people. When you speak to them they remember coming to events like Halloween or seeing Santa."

- Anjali, Marketing Volunteer

Full Accessibility

Our new lift will mean EVERYBODY can enjoy all of our activities and also see our heritage for the first time. For example the residents at a local nursing home who often come to concerts are excluded if the concerts are upstairs. This will not happen in the future. An induction loop will make all the difference to very many people enabling them to take part in lectures and classes and enjoy performances to the full.

Heritage Protected for Generations to Come

The House has come a long way since a major fire in 1963 and its re-opening in 1978. This new chapter in 2015 will enable us to preserve and reveal our hidden heritage and open it out to everyone who passes through.

The galleries provide innumerable clues to our past and with Lauderdale Transformed we can ensure that everyone is given an insight into the changes over the centuries and a glimpse into the lives and stories of the many and colourful characters who lived here:

  • A new children’s trail following the ‘Lauderdale Cat’ will be launched
  • New signage and digital media will be used to bring the house to life in centuries gone past
  • Clues will be provided to the original layout of the spaces and the location of the ‘King’s Chamber’
  • Historic features will be highlighted through lighting and design
  • A historic ceiling brought here from Leadenhall Street will be taken from its ‘hiding’ place and re-sited at the centre of the Long Gallery.
  • Tudor beams will be revealed
  • People will discover the Trompe L’oeil hidden behind the staircase panels and the story of the chickens, shoes and candlesticks bricked into the fire place.

More information about our history can be found by clicking here.  You can also donate £35 and receive a copy of our history book as a reward!

A Self-Sustaining Future for Lauderdale House

Every donation makes a difference. Help make Lauderdale Transformed a reality!


Thankyou for your support.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A BIG THANKYOU and your name listed on our website as a donor to Lauderdale Transformed

£25 or more

45 of 50 claimed

£25 Reward

A TICKET TO QUARTET COCKTAILS – a chamber concert with complimentary cocktails

£35 or more

24 of 100 claimed

£35 Reward

HISTORY BOOK - signed by Historian, Peter Barber OBE

£60 or more

1 of 15 claimed

£60 Reward

A TICKET FOR HISTORY TOUR OF THE HOUSE with Historian, Peter Barber, OBE inc. drinks reception.

£100 or more

5 of 25 claimed

£100 Reward

CABARET LAUNCH PARTY FOR 2 - Evening with West End entertainment & refreshments

£100 or more

15 of 50 claimed

£100 Reward

JAZZ LAUNCH PARTY FOR 2 - Evening with top Jazz entertainment & refreshments

£100 or more

2 of 25 claimed

£100 Reward

FAMILY TICKET FOR SINGALONG A SHOWTUNE & DISNEY with Sister Mary McArthur – free gingerbread men!

£250 or more

4 of 50 claimed

£250 Reward

PHOTO OF YOU, YOUR CHILD OR PET in our first Photographic Exhibition

£500 or more

3 of 30 claimed

£500 Reward

FREE EVENTS FOR A YEAR - Attend all House programmed jazz, cabaret, classical concerts & poetry

£800 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£800 Reward

EXCLUSIVE TOUR OF LAUDERDALE HOUSE FOR YOU & 12 FRIENDS with Historian, Peter Barber, OBE inc. drinks reception.

£1,000 or more

3 of 50 claimed

£1,000 Reward

NAME ENGRAVED ON GLASS WALL - Your name or company engraved in our glass wall on the Upper Gallery

£1,200 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£1,200 Reward

BESPOKE TOUR OF HISTORIC HIGHGATE FOR YOU & 10 FRIENDS with Dr Tim Hochstrasser inc. drinks reception at the House.

£2,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£2,000 Reward

CAMP OUT OVERNIGHT IN NELL GWYNN'S GALLERY with up to 5 friends to see if we're haunted!

£3,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£3,000 Reward


£50,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£50,000 Reward

NAME A GALLERY - Name one of our two historic Galleries

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