Plans to bring a derelict area of Kelmarsh Hall back to life
A derelict area of Kelmarsh Hall could soon be brought back to life to tell the stories of people who worked ‘below stairs’, after the Hall received a grant to develop a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid.
Kelmarsh Hall is planning to re-develop underground areas of the main house to chronicle the lives of those who worked in the hall and served its former residents. The grant awarded by the HLF will be used to put together a full Lottery application for the £1m project.
Dating back to 1800, the basement of the main house contains a butler’s pantry, brew house, wine cellar, bakehouse and footman’s bedroom. A separate laundry block – which is accessed from the basement via a long underground tunnel – includes a wash house along with ironing and fuel rooms.
While some of the areas are in extremely poor condition, some well-preserved original cupboards and fittings remain. These, along with other features from different phases of occupation, will be retained and conserved, starting with the laundry area. Once the project is complete, it will provide a valuable education resource for both visiting school groups and general visitors. For instance, families will be able to take part in fabric and textile activities in the laundry area, or have a go at bread-making in the bakehouse.
General Manager Lesley Denton said the project was a manifestation of the Kelmarsh Trust’s aim to conserve the built environment and promote education about the hall. She said:
“We’re delighted to have received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help us put together our Lottery application. It marks an exciting step forward in the biggest project we have undertaken for some years.”
Read the full story on the Kelmarsh Hall website here.
Although Kelmarsh are now closed for the season, they will be open for some special events in the autumn. Why not come along?
Monday 21 October 2013, 1pm – 4.30pm
Knitting, crochet, felt and sewing workshop with Carrie Gardner-Pett. During this workshop you will learn the basics of knitting, how to cast on and off, how to recognise (and make!) a knit stitch and a purl stitch and how to end a row with the same amount of stitches that you started with. The workshop is suitable for anyone who has never picked up a pair of knitting needles before or those who need to brush up on some rusty skills.
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October 2013, 9am – 4pm (both days)
Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and take part in Kelmarsh Hall’s Big Bulb-Planting Challenge to plant 2,000 fritillary bulbs in two days!
The event is to mark Wild About Gardens Week, a joint initiative by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts to encourage people to support local biodiversity and to fight the decline in plant and animal species.
Kelmarsh’s aim is to create a new native meadow of fritillaries in the grounds of the hall with the help of its team of regular volunteers, plus members of the community. Participants can be accompanied by their children or grandchildren as there will be a number of children’s wildlife projects, including building bug hotels and log piles.
If you are interested in attending either of these events, please contact Kelmarsh email email@example.com or call 01604 686 543.