A major restoration project at Kelmarsh Hall has received support from a number of grant funding bodies, with work due to get under way in a few months.
The basement area of the Hall and a separate laundry block will be preserved and re-developed to tell the lives of those who worked ‘below stairs’ in the Hall throughout history.
Earlier this year, the Kelmarsh Trust was awarded £1.2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for the majority of the work. The Kelmarsh Trust will provide match funding and a number of grant-giving organisations have also offered their support for the project - The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, the Sylvia Waddilove Foundation, the Idlewild Trust and the Heritage Conservation Trust. The Kelmarsh Trust is extremely grateful for this support and would like to extend its thanks to these organisations. Fundraising is still on-going and anyone wishing to contribute or support the project should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the project is complete, visitors will have access to areas including a butler’s pantry, laundry and footman’s bedroom. Using the latest in modern technology, they will enjoy a full sensory experience of what life was like for the servants who generally remained hidden from life ‘upstairs’. There will also be the creation of a learning space to extend the activities on offer at Kelmarsh Hall.
Building work is due to start in March 2016, with a completion date set for the summer of 2017. While the work is going on, there will be a number of public participation events, including ‘Have a Go’ days when students and members of the public will have the opportunity to try lime-washing, joinery and pointing. In addition, construction students from local collages will be invited in for ‘Hard Hat’ sessions, while furniture students will be challenged to recreate simple pieces, such as folding racks. There will also be the chance for visitors to view the restoration work through observation points.
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