'Sudbury Hall re-opens after more than two years with brilliant new features for children to explore' - Sudbury, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Poole/Freeman
N 52° 53.190 W 001° 45.930
30U E 583063 N 5860358
Quick Description: Sudbury Hall is a country house owned by the National Trust and located in Sudbury near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 10/30/2022 8:32:52 AM
Waymark Code: WM16YDM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
Sudbury Hall is a Grade I listed building owned by the National Trust and is located on Main Road in Sudbury.
The Grade I description given by Historic England can be seen at the following link: (visit link)

Sudbury Hall is an impressive building, built by George Vernon in the second half of the 17th century. The hall is a redbrick building, now owned by the National Trust who first opened it to the public in 1972. One of the many features restored by the trust is the small dome, crowned with a golden ball on the roof of the hall, which acts as a beacon for travellers. The hall contains many fine rooms, the most interesting being, the Long Gallery and the Main Hall with its beautiful staircase, which featured in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice. The formal garden and meadows at the rear of the house lead down to the lakeside. (visit link)

A report about the reopening of the hall by Becky Jones, appeared on Leicestershire Live on 27th October 2022 and reads as follows;

"Sudbury Hall re-opens after more than two years with brilliant new features for children to explore

Children were involved in the creation of the new features at the property

A popular National Trust property in the Midlands has just re-opened after being closed for more than two and a half years while major work took place. Sudbury Hall, in Derbyshire, opened its doors once again last weekend, complete with a new wing called The Children's Country House at Sudbury.

The museum closed during the Covid pandemic along with other visitor attractions but chose not to re-open when restrictions were lifted so the venue in Sudbury village could be revamped. It had been closed since March 2020.

According to the National Trust, it is believed to be the first heritage experience of its kind where the hall, museum and gardens put young people at the very centre of the experience. Trust experts worked alongside children to create the new features, where children are encouraged to be curious, explore the house and ‘have fun with history’, all while protecting the late 17th-century hall’s collections.

Assistant director for Midlands and East of England, Emma Hawthorne, said: “Sudbury has long been a place that attracts families and we could spot the potential to engage children and young people here more than ever before, helping future generations discover the country house. We want it to be a place of wonder and we’ll be inviting children to bring their imagination and a thirst for exploring.

“Our aim is to be a place where everyone feels comfortable, welcome and can lead their own visit, developing their knowledge, confidence and curiosity as they explore the collections, stories and history. The house and gardens are for everyone and there’s nature, beauty and history on offer for all ages. Visits work when all generations can explore and appreciate the place.”

To create The Children’s Country House, National Trust staff worked with 100 ‘ambassadors’, aged up to 12 years, to devise and test ideas, first in digital sessions and then via in-person workshops at the hall.

General manager Jodie Lees said: “The children told us they wanted a clear welcome space to set the scene for their visit and help them know how to ‘engage’ in the hall. They also designed the wooden grasshoppers – inspired by the plasterwork in the house – that now help draw visitors in to explore the garden.

“In workshops with poet and playwright Toby Campion, the ambassadors imagined what the house’s portraits might be saying to each other. The result is that through a series of speech bubbles, the portraits appear to be having a conversation as you walk along the Long Gallery. It’s light-hearted and fun, but it also helps contextualise the sitters.”

At the end of the Long Gallery is a booth where children can learn about the hidden symbolism in historic portraits and choose from a range of props and backdrops to create their own portrait.

Jodie added: “This is a new way for a Trust house to work with children, and we’ve built close relationships with the children and their families. The children have been part of this process and enjoyed sharing their ideas, thoughts and feedback but above all they love that this is somewhere tailored for them.”

Ambassador Mahnoor Daoudi, aged 11, said: “So far this experience has been amazing and it has been really exciting to know I’ve been part of developing it. In one of the workshops I played a game from Victorian times called the “Queen’s breakfast” which is a memory game. My dad and I had so much fun playing this that we now all play it at home."

Activities for young people include:
Planning adventures and voyages in the book-lined Talbot Room, evocative of the Grand Tour, where children can move model ships about on a specially-commissioned map carpet.

Curling up with a book in child-sized chairs in the Library.
‘Becoming a portrait’ in the Long Gallery, encouraging children to think about the symbolism of the portraits that line this 138ft space.

Choosing a costume and dancing, clapping or singing along to music in the candlelit Saloon, where the Vernon family who originally owned the hall would historically have entertained.

In the Great Stairhead Chamber, designed to impress and be admired, a card game titled ‘Objective’ encourages children to pay attention to the elaborate details and special objects around the room.

The Children’s Country House has been designed to be as accessible as possible, with wide parking spaces for buggies and wheelchairs and an electric shuttle from car park to hall; sensory back packs and all-terrain wheelchairs available to borrow; a sensory room where visitors can take a rest; and interpretation in a range of formats including large print and braille.

It will continue to evolve in coming years, with children and families actively encouraged to feed back on their experience and share ideas. The Children’s Country House was supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England."

(visit link)
Type of publication: Internet Only

When was the article reported?: 10/27/2022

Publication: Leicestershire Live

Article Url: [Web Link]

Is Registration Required?: no

How widespread was the article reported?: international

News Category: Arts/Culture

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