Sun, Salvage and Shopping

I had a fantastic day spent wandering amongst stalls filled with amazing vintage and salvage finds on Friday. I went to the annual Salvo Fair at Knebworth House, it’s a fair packed with architectural salvage, garden antiques and reclaimed building materials.

Thank goodness it was a beautiful day as the Salvo Fair is an outdoor event set in the grounds of Knebworth House.   If you haven’t come across or heard of Knebworth House, it is an early Victorian gothic fantasy and is the seat of Lord and Lady Cobbold whose family have lived there since 1490.

Arriving early on the trade day I set off in search of treasure.  If you were in need of authentic architectural doors, fireplaces, bricks, tiles, French bistro furniture, church pews and original Victorian flooring the Salvo Fair was the place to be. Architectural salvage isn’t just for experts and is enjoying a new popularity boosted by the recession-induced mentality of ‘make do and mend’. It’s also a well-known lament that so many period properties have had their charm and character stripped out and using architectural salvage can help bring them back to their glory days.

There were so many great items/ pieces on Friday that I wanted to have a huge (££££) spend up – I just wish I had the space to house the amount of lovely things I found.  AND that is a common pitfall.  It can be quite easy to get carried away when out looking for architectural salvage – so it’s really important to have a plan before setting out. Having attended Salvage fairs before and through my trawl of salvage yards I know the things I am looking out for – for both current and future interiors projects. I am also always on the lookout for my own personal statement find – the perfect pair of gothic doors or the perfect folly for the end of the garden. 

Some tips

ALWAYS consider the placement before committing to any major piece of architectural salvage. Victorian or reclaimed flooring is beautiful but in the wrong home it can look very out of place

PLAN carefully about the overall look you want to achieve and have a list of the items you are looking for

CREATE a mood board, as this will give you a good idea of what to look for when you visit salvage yards

BE prepared to get dirty. At salvage yards or fairs items are often caked in dust and rust and to find the treasure you’re after you may well have to rummage

TAKE photographs (always ask permission first), measure up, and take notes. These will help you make the right decision

COMPARE prices and quality, you may be able to get the same or similar item for a more reasonable price elsewhere (like the stall next door!). 




  1. June 28, 2011 / 7:11 am

    It was a great day. Post boxes were great and I think would make great personal safe's.

    I have some brocantes lined up for my trip to France in July…. more photo of treasure hopefully

  2. July 8, 2011 / 11:04 am

    parakitamol. A date for your diary – Salvo Fair is booked for 22-24 June 2012!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.