National Heritage Week, with the theme for 2021 of Heritage and Food, gave us an opportunity to attract new visitors to our seventeenth century, Grade 1 listed building and gardens. People visited from America, Japan, Europe and many parts of the UK in addition to Knutsford folk who were surprised by the beauty of the building and gardens.
The day started at 11am with a service looking at our heritage which was followed by a hog roast served from the covered shelter in the back garden. Musical entertainment included singing by Halle soprano soloist Jessica Baldry and organ recitals by Aya Pitcher. There were stalls selling home-baked cakes and drinks and activities for children. The Chapel and Gaskell Exhibition room were open for everyone to view. We were lucky with the weather and everyone was able to sit outside and enjoy the garden.
The 11am service on the second weekend celebrated the Anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth Gaskell and was preceded by the laying of flowers on her grave. This was be followed by a ploughman’s lunch (as mentioned in her book ‘Wives and Daughters’). Again there were various stalls selling cakes and drinks, activities for children including a display of owls and tours around the Chapel and exhibition room. We were entertained with music from the Barnton Silver Band, Organ recitals, food-related sing along sessions led by Maurice and performances by a local group of Morris dancers.
Setting up the two days did prove challenging – but it all was worthwhile and both days were greatly enjoyed by all who came along.
Click the images below to see the gallery