The 18th century Orangery at Kelmarsh Hall was salvaged in the 1950’s from neighbouring Brixworth Hall and the Finnis Scott Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Northamptonshire Gardens Trust, private donors, local businesses and members of the public have supported The Kelmarsh Trust to renovate this beautiful building and secure its future.
Works were completed in October and an official opening and thank you event took place yesterday. Around 60 friends, volunteers and supporters attended the event including representatives from Brixworth History Society. One of the guests was Joan Clapham a local (Brixworth) lady who is pictured in front of the Orangery in 1947 when it was still located at Brixworth Hall. Joan was very happy to be re-pictured yesterday and explained that she “was just 12 years old when the original photo was taken.”
Peter Scott the Kelmarsh Trust chairman to the board of trustees opened the event and the ribbon was cut by Stephen Bernhard, Master of The Worshipful Company of Gardeners and Dr John Lancaster one of the principal donors. Kelmarsh’ s fundraiser Carla Cooper said: “it’s been a lovely event at a festive time of year. It was wonderful to meet Joan and we couldn’t resist an up to date photograph of Joan in front of the newly renovated building! My efforts will now transfer to providing workshops and events to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy this lovely building and if anyone is interested to learn more about events and classes being held in the Orangery please do contact us.”
The building is an important part of Northamptonshire’s heritage and the last publicly accessible remnant from Brixworth Hall. It is faced with Kingsthorpe Pendle (soft white sandstone) which is no longer quarried and quite rare. Diana Milne (nee Sutherland) a geologist and author of Northamptonshire Stone also attended the opening and was really pleased to see the future of the building and stone secured.