Dyrham Park secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment

Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park has been awarded a grant of £85,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) it was announced today. The grant will help fund new exhibitions and activities on offer during a period of major work to safeguard the future of the seventeenth-century National Trust mansion house near Bristol/Bath, by replacing the leaking roof and installing a new energy efficient biomass boiler. Continue reading…

Ancient battle site preserved for the future

The View from Burrow Wake on Birdlip Hill towards Crickley Hill, Stroud, Gloucestershire

The site of a battle that took place over 5000 years ago has been preserved for the enjoyment of future generations thanks to a National Trust project.

The archaeological remains at Crickley Hill suggest a battle took place there in around 3600BC. These remains were covered by the ramparts and ditches of an Iron Age hill fort over 2000 years ago and there is also evidence of occupation there from the 5th century when the Roman army left Britain. Continue reading…

Behind the scenes at Cotehele

With only 56 sleeps to Christmas, the team at Cotehele are gearing themselves up for the annual creation of the Christmas Garland, a must see in your seasonal calendar.  We thought we would share with you a behind the scenes visit to see all 32,000 flowers drying in the attic ready for adding to the 60 foot garland, one by one!

The garland will be constructed over two weeks from 7th November by a team of staff and volunteers, the completed garland can be seen daily through December, except 25 and 26 December.

Stunning display of flowers drying for the Christmas garland.

Aimee Kingdom & Sophie Littleton with the 30,000 drying flowers at Cotehele

Aimee Kingdom & Sophie Littleton with the 30,000 drying flowers at Cotehele

The gardening team at Cotehele have again had a successful year growing and drying flowers for their annual Christmas garland.

‘We were so lucky with the warm and sunny summer, ‘says Dave Bouch, Cotehele’s Head Gardener, ‘and we’ve really benefitted from it. This year we’ve grown and picked about 32,000 flowers and the drying has been really reliable. It will be satisfying this winter to look up at the colourful garland and reflect what the summer was like.’

Continue reading…

Pantheon takes centre stage in autumn ‘performance’

Pantheon takes centre stage

Autumn may have been slow to arrive but now the landmark Pantheon at Stourhead is being framed in rich autumn colours, and is once more open to visitors after months of vital repairs.

Alan Power, Stourhead’s head gardener, and sometime media star, said: “The garden is showing definite signs of autumn, with strong pockets of colour arriving.

“To really appreciate the change that happens in autumn, you should visit a few times, to experience just how the garden develops throughout the season, and the how the landscape changes.” Continue reading…

Yarn-bombing an apple tree back to life

A 12 foot community yarn-bomb has exploded in the orchard at Killerton National Trust estate near Exeter. Pictured are Joan Tremblett and Renee Harvey both from Exeter. Picture by Steven Haywood

A 12 foot community yarn-bomb has exploded in the orchard at Killerton, near Exeter. The culprits are an army of 50 knitters and pom-pom bombers from across Devon and as far flung as Oregon in the United States.

Their combined efforts have burst Killerton’s retired apple tree back to life by entirely covering it in 400 individually knitted leaves, 50 apple-pompoms and hand-knitted woolly wildlife including game birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, frogs and a swarm of Killerton bees.

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Perry Pear Weekend at Dyrham Park

Harvesting pears at Dyrham Park (c) National Trust

Dyrham Park will be hosting a harvest celebration on 18-19 October. Over the last few weeks the estate has been joined by its visitors in collecting pears from its orchard, so that the fruit can be turned into ‘Dyrham Park Perry’. The celebratory weekend will be the first opportunity to try this year’s batch along with mulled and hot pear juice varieties. Continue reading…

Specialist crane lifts tonne lintels back onto England’s last castle

Pictures By Steven Haywood - 100 tonne Crane at Castle Drogo lifting 1 tonne Lintels into place above a window section of the Castle.

Pictures By Steven Haywood – 100 tonne Crane at Castle Drogo lifting 1 tonne Lintels into place above a window section of the Castle.

Ever since Castle Drogo was built 100 years ago, it has let in the Dartmoor rain. With water pouring in from the roof, walls and windows, by 2012 the situation was critical, and this spectacular granite building could have been lost.

Following a massive appeal, work has begun in earnest on repairing the castle.  Today saw  a specialist 100 tonne crane arrive at the property to lift a series of granite lintels, each weighing little over 1 tonne, as well as a large oak beam back onto the roof structure.

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Paradise at Tyntesfield and Leigh Woods

The Green Room (c) Paul Blakemore

The Green Room (c) Paul Blakemore

As part of PARADISE, the contemporary art exhibition at Tyntesfield and Leigh Woods, an exciting and diverse programme of events, talks and workshops delivered by national and international artists has been planned this autumn. These include: experiments with compost and gold leaf, family play weekends and discussions exploring the design of our environment. Continue reading…