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Karey Draper

Karey Draper

The development of temporary wartime buildings in Britain during the 20th century

The wartime history of the country estate

Prefabrication in the First and Second World Wars


Karey holds a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in History from Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Virginia, U.S.A.

She also holds an MSt. in Building History from University of Cambridge. Her dissertation studied the contributions and consequences of wartime requisition on four Northamptonshire country estates.

Karey currently works part-time as an archivist for the Drayton Estate. She has also worked as a Historic Buildings Consultant in East Northamptonshire. Various projects include conservation area appraisals, local list surveys, measured survey and building recording.

The working title of her PhD thesis is: Beyond the Nissen Hut: The Development and Longevity of Temporary Wartime Buildings in Twentieth Century Britain. It is funded by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

Research Interests

20th century temporary wartime construction in Britain; the wartime history of Drayton House; the requisition and use of country estates in Britain during WWII; the development of portable architecture.

Key Publications

  • Proceedings of the First Conference of the Construction History Society, April 2014.
  • The Country House in Wartime: Contributions of Britain’s Historic Houses and Consequences of Wartime Requisition,’ Hudson’s Historic Houses and Gardens 2015. 
  • 'The Military Hutting Programme in Britain during the Second World War: a brief survey of development, uses and building materials,' Studies in the History of Construction: The Proceedings of the Second Conference of the Construction History Society, March 2015. 
  • 'Building for War: examples of temporary structures designed for wartime use in Britain,' Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress of the Construction History Society, June 2015. 
  • 'A Tale of Two Brothers: The Stopford Sackvilles of Drayton House and the First World War,' Northamptonshire Past and Present, Summer 2016. (Forthcoming)

 Invited Talks

  • 'The Country House in Wartime: case studies of country estates modified for use during the Second World War.' Lecture given at Holkham Hall, Norfolk to students of the MSt in Building History course, April 2015. 
  • 'Sanctuary to Stronghold: Lilford and other Northamptonshire country estates during World War II.' Lecture given to members of the Oundle Historical Society, May 2015. 
  • 'Northamptonshire Country Houses at War.' Lecture given at a private event at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire, June 2015. 


  • Kettle's Yard Fund (2015)
  • Wolfson College Grant (2015)
  • Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain PhD Scholarship