English Heritage Announces Summer Tours of Grade I listed Jacobean Country House Recently Rescued from the Brink of Dereliction [This is now out of date, see Opening Times for 2012 details]
Apethorpe Hall Gardens © English Heritage Tickets go on sale today, Monday 11 June, for one-off guided tours of Apethorpe Hall, a grade I listed country house in a picturesque corner of Northamptonshire. The Hall is currently the subject of an ambitious £4 million rescue programme by English Heritage to save it from total collapse after it was left to rot by its previous owner, a foreign businessman. These tours are the first opportunity the general public has had to see inside the building in its five-hundred-year history. The hall has a particularly important place in the nation’s heritage because of the role it played in entertaining Tudor and Stuart royalty at the pinnacle of its influence around the turn of the 17th century. Its State Apartment is arguably the most complete in the country and provides a fascinating window on a rich period of English history.
Apethorpe Hall, near Oundle in Northamptonshire, is a major country house dating back to the 15th century. Its state apartment suite was rebuilt in 1622-4 to receive James I, and still has one of the finest sets of Jacobean interiors of the period, with decorative plaster ceilings, fireplaces and panelling.
The house was abandoned to neglect and decay from 1982, becoming one of the leading buildings at risk in the country. Following compulsory purchase action, English Heritage took over the site in 2004 and commenced a £4m programme of rescue works. On completion of this repair programme in 2008, English Heritage plans to seek a new purchaser who will restore the Hall for use as a country house. To accompany the repair works, a major programme of historical and archaeological research is being undertaken, with many new discoveries coming to light.
Update: New English Heritage pictures
The Maltby CollectionFriday 11:30-12:00 (Radio 4 FM)Sitcom by David Nobbs, set in a museum.
Episode 1 of 6 started last Friday (There is a listen again facility):
1/6: The new deputy director of painting and sculpture, son of a self-made biscuit mogul, is not ideally suited to the world of antiquities.