Abseiling stonemasons start repairs to historic tower

A team of specialist stonemasons have started work hanging from ropes 160 feet up to repair the historic King Alfred’s Tower near the National Trust’s Stourhead.

Rather than have the entire building covered in scaffolding during the work, the specialist team will be using climbing gear to work on the tower, repairing the stonework and doing some repointing of the brick faces of the tower. Continue reading…

Pantheon takes centre stage in autumn ‘performance’

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…

Harry’s Story tells how the First World War changed the future for Stourhead

Sir Henry, Harry and Lady Hoare

Sir Henry, Harry and Lady Hoare

Harry Hoare was a young man born to inherit his family’s country estate and trained to manage it, but his privilege brought with it the responsibility that the estate should be used so others could enjoy the beauty as well. The place was Stourhead but the time, just before the First World War, was to cause the shattering of the plans and dreams of the Hoare family.

Harry’s Story is now being told across Stourhead by the National Trust to show how war affected the lives of the Hoare family and many others who lived and worked on the estate. But the story also shows how Harry’s mother Alda, opened up the house and estate for soldiers recuperating from their injuries at a military hospital nearby.

Continue reading…