The Cosmic Egg by Andrew Logan on display at National Trust’s Buckland Abbey

From the 19 February to 23 September 2018 visitors to Buckland Abbey in Devon will find something unexpected in the Great Barn this year. Sitting in the middle of the floor will be an enormous, glittering egg, created by sculptor and artist, Andrew Logan.

The monumental sculpture, which will be on display in the historic barn until September, is four meters high and was commissioned by the Greater London Council for Peace Year in 1983. Usually on display at the Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture in Wales the Cosmic Egg this is a rare chance for locals to Buckland Abbey to see this beautiful piece. The egg reflects themes of spring rebirth and of course Easter. As a focus for reflection it also seems right to host the Cosmic Egg in a place chosen over 700 years ago by Cistercian monks as perfect for prayer and contemplation.

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Have archaeologists found a lost mansion of Devon at Killerton?

Archaeologists working with the National Trust’s Killerton estate believe they may have found the location of the lost Killerton mansion that was started in 1775, but never completed.

The lost house was re-discovered almost by accident. Rumours of the mansion, three times bigger than the surviving building at Killerton and more befitting of the Acland family’s wealth and status, have circulated for many years – but no-one has been able to find where the building work was located. All that has remained of the mansion are designs by renowned architect, James Wyatt, a few surviving records and three theories about why it was never completed nearly 240 years ago. Continue reading…

Killerton to sparkle this Christmas with Brothers Grimm fairy tales

killerton-fairytales-6-sm

A spell has been cast over Killerton this Christmas. For the first time, the National Trust property will be transformed into classic fairy tales with a festive twist from Saturday 19 November.

Each year to celebrate the start of Christmas, the staff step out of their day jobs and get into character for a specially-commissioned photoshoot with an added sprinkle of festive sparkle. This year, they portrayed Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. Continue reading…

Join a National Trust Beach Clean

beach-clean-imageAs part of the Great British Beach Clean week (16-19 September), organised by the Marine Conservation Society, the National Trust has a series of beach cleans taking place in Devon and Cornwall this September for volunteers to come along and help clear up their local beach.

There are nearly 2,500 items of rubbish for every kilometre on a beach [1] and every year National Trust staff and volunteers use valuable time cleaning up the beaches it clears for and the Trust is calling for everyone to take some time, get out and help clear their local beach.

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Tickets on sale for the first South West Outdoor Festival (23-25 September)

A child toasting marshmallows over an open camp fire at Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire.The South West is a mecca for outdoor activities and adventure pursuits, and this year the inaugural South West Outdoor Festival is inviting everyone to come and explore the incredible range of opportunities that are taking place around one unique place: Heddon Valley in Exmoor National Park.

Tickets are now on sale for the festival, run in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor, the National Trust’s official outdoor retailer, which takes place over the weekend of 23–25 September. The event is suitable for everyone from young families to adventurous individuals, with something for all ages and levels of skill, experience and fitness. All that’s needed is a willingness to have a go, try something new or take on a challenge. Alternatively, you can simply soak up the ambience, and enjoy the local food and entertainment.

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Francis Drake warts and all

Painting of Francis Drake at Buckland Abbey

A newly identified painting is thought to be the earliest known portrait of Francis Drake, now on display for first time at his Buckland Abbey home.

The painting, believed to be the earliest likeness of Drake, will be on loan from a private collector, Dirk T. Griffin, for the next 12 months and will be hanging in the Drake Chamber at the National Trust’s Buckland Abbey until early 2017.

Angus Haldane, independent curator and art historian, undertook research in 2014 that led to the discovery that the portrait depicted Sir Francis Drake, by an unknown artist. Mr Haldane suspected it was Drake after noticing physical similarities to other portraits, including his facial warts.

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Rare chance to see Grayson Perry tapestry at Castle Drogo

A rare chance to see a vibrant tapestry by artist Grayson Perry, created for his popular Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman exhibition at The British Museum, is set to be displayed at the National Trust’s Castle Drogo from Saturday 5th March.

The 15ft wide Map of Truths and Beliefs, created by Perry in 2011, will be part of the new Truth and Triomphe exhibition at the castle. Perry’s tapestry will be hung alongside a French masterpiece, the 300 year old Char de Triomphe, made for King Louis XIV and believed to have hung in the Palace of Versailles during his reign. Continue reading…