Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens are the winners of the Historic Houses 2018 Frances Garnham Award, presented for Innovation in Heritage Education. The Frances Garnham Award, which is now in its fourth year, commemorates the achievements of Frances Garnham who worked as Director of Policy and Campaigns at Historic Houses. Frances encouraged the involvement of education in historic houses and gardens, represented in the award presented on November 19th 2018.
The Kelmarsh Trust are delighted and honoured to have won the Frances Garnham award for the recognition of learning opportunities and community involvement within heritage settings, which is a key aim of the Kelmarsh Trust. The Trust is an independent charitable trust set up in 1982 by the last family members to reside in the Hall, the Lancaster Family. As an important part of the Kelmarsh Trust, the learning programme strives to provide a broad range of learning opportunities and activities for all visitors.
Tiffany Brownell, Learning and Activities Officer at Kelmarsh Hall has developed a diverse and engaging program of lifelong learning opportunities which range from primary school visits, GCSE and A-level field study, FE work experience and partnerships with the University of Northampton, to offer research experiences and enhance academic subjects in this unique historic setting. In 2018, there have also been a range of new lifelong learning programmes introduced, such as Summer and Winter Lecture Series, living history days, expert-led painting/art courses, family activity days and craft cafes, encouraging visitors of all ages to engage in a heritage environment.
Tiffany Brownell says “receiving this award from Historic Houses has been an honour. I am very fortunate to have the invaluable support of a small group of dedicated volunteers, all of whom bring something unique to each of our programs for schools. The developing partnerships between local secondary schools such as Weston Favell Academy, Malcolm Arnold Academy and Elizabeth Woodville School, The University of Northampton and Kelmarsh Hall have been extremely exciting and rewarding. It is so gratifying to learn that this innovative approach has been recognised and celebrated by such a prestigious organisation as Historic Houses”.
Integral to the new learning opportunities is the newly opened servants' quarters in April 2018, with thanks to the National Lottery Grant of £1.35 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This has allowed the ‘Below Stairs’ to be opened up to visitors. The new space offers an insight into Victorian Working Life which the Learning and Activities Officer has incorporated into a range of enhanced learning programs and research/study opportunities.
Photo credit: Yellow Belly Photography