Innovative heritage project at Kelmarsh Hall receives council’s support

Kelmarsh Hall
Kelmarsh Hall

The Kelmarsh Trust has been awarded a grant of £15,000 from Daventry District Council to support the Heritage Lottery Funded Tunnelling Through the Past project.

Work is now well under way at Kelmarsh Hall to open up the ‘below stairs’ servants’ quarters and old laundry to visitors in late summer 2017, and the grant will specifically support the completion of Kelmarsh Hall & Gardens’ new Learning Space.

A school's visit to Kelmarsh Hall

A school's visit to Kelmarsh Hall

Kelmarsh currently runs an award winning school visit programme to the gardens as well as family trails and craft activities, but these are largely weather dependent and constrained by a lack of dedicated facilities.

Carla Cooper, manager for fundraising and visitor services, said: “This support from Daventry District Council will help to provide much needed improvements to lighting, storage and enable us to install magnetic walls and sinks inside the Learning Space to enhance the way we use it.”

The Tunnelling Through the Past project will open up hidden areas of the Hall and provide dedicated learning facilities and an exciting programme of events and activities for families and schools.

The Learning Space will be housed in the former stables and will be a central location for the busy activity programme for families and schools which Kelmarsh is currently developing.

General manager Lesley Denton said: “We want to become one of the few historic houses in the country to offer a real family and education experience.

“In addition to the exciting technology which will be there for visitors to enjoy in the Hall, the Learning Space will mean we can offer a great day out for families and schools with lots of hands-on activities with a space dedicated for that purpose.”

The project at Kelmarsh supports Daventry District Council’s vision to ‘Develop a Better District’ with the grant awarded through the council’s Capital Grants scheme which is available for organisations needing assistance with capital investment.

The families and school programme will enable Kelmarsh to target specific under-represented audiences by offering free or subsidised visits through partnership organisations and schools.

The programme also encourages access and equality through improved disabled access, extended opening times for the Hall, and potential after-hours events.