The Kelmarsh Trust is an independent charitable trust set up in 1982 by the last family members to reside in the Hall, the Lancaster family.
Colonel Claude Lancaster, who inherited the hall at 9 years old, set about endowing the hall and most of the estate into a trust in the 1970s. When he died in 1977, he left the blueprint for the Trust to his sister Valencia to complete. Both Claude and Valencia were dedicated to preserving the hall and the landscape around their childhood home as a traditional agricultural estate and the pastoral lifestyle of the countryside.
The Kelmarsh Trust took over the care and safeguarding of the estate in 1977, when the last family member to live in the hall, Valencia Lancaster, passed away.
The charity’s objectives are to:
We receive no funding from the government and we rely on donations, legacies and fundraising to continue to care for the hall, gardens and wider landscape and to keep Kelmarsh open to everyone, for ever.
We have been very grateful to many generous private donors and grant funding organisations and the National Lottery for supporting our charity. In recent years, we have accomplished many vital projects to preserve the built structures at Kelmarsh following fundraising and donations.
In 2018, we completed our biggest project to date, the £1.5 million 'Tunnelling through the Past' which received £1.2 million of funding from a Heritage Lottery grant. This project has allowed us to develop and enhance the visitor experience at Kelmarsh through opening up previously unseen rooms and introducing exciting features for visitors to experience.
For more information, see our page on the Charity Commissions website
Charity Registration Number: 295154
Museum Accreditation Number: 2434