Castilian

A donation from the Friends of Hartlebury Village

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Jan 162016

Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust would like to thank the Friends of Hartlebury for the donation of chairs and equipment. Their generosity will help us generate income to our plans to make Hartlebury Castle into a major heritage attraction.

Chairs and trolley

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Scrooge at Hartlebury Castle - in pictures

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Dec 072015

Thank you to Alan Smith and Areley Kings Arts who put  on a production of Scrooge at the Castle on the 4  and 5th of December.  All proceeds were kindly donated to Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust and will contribute towards securing the future of Hartlebury Castle.

Will Smith’s photographs share the fun we had!

Scrooge being made up

In the green room.

Scrooge, musicians

Fine tuning.

The Great Hall

Ready for the audience.

Table setting

Table setting.

Scrooge

The Areley Kins Arts players in full flow.

Scrooge, audience in the Great Hall

A full house.


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From our volunteers - getting ready for spring at Hartlebury Castle

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Nov 082015

Our gardening  volunteers made great progress planting spring bulbs in the Hartlebury Castle’s Carriage Circle last week. Their blog below.

“Two of us started the effort on Thursday in an intermittent drizzle. It is not just a case of popping a few bulbs into the borders, each handful of bulbs needs a patch cleared to plant them in. We had to clear patches in amongst the Jerusalem Sage as the rain got harder.

We were kept amused by children racing each other around the Carriage Circle. Museum staff were encouraging families to come into the circle by challenging children to see how fast they could run round it. So cute… little legs pounding round, dressed in wellies, chasing siblings, but most importantly using Hartlebury Castle to enjoy themselves!

Saturday dawned much more encouragingly and we managed to prepare borders, plant bulbs, tidy up a bit more of the edge of the grass circle, and continue work in the Queen Elizabeth Walk. This was all possible thanks to a great turn out of volunteers.  It was so good to see both new and younger volunteers getting stuck into the work in hand.

The narcissus planting is now almost finished, but there are still plenty of tulips to plant. Hopefully, the narcissi will start to show above ground soon as it will be very difficult to plant tulips until we can see where the spaces are!  One thing is certain, we should have a riot of colour for visitors in the spring.”

 If you would like to volunteer as a gardener please email Alison Brimelow.

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Volunteers to recreate embroideries for Hartlebury Castle

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Oct 112015

We have blogged previously about the work of Lady Julia Carew. Her embroideries cover a number of chairs at Hartlebury Castle.

The embroideries are delicate and beginning to show their age. We are very pleased that volunteers from the City of Worcester and Malvern Hills branches of the National Decorative & Fine Arts Society (NADFAS) – CoWDFAS and MHDFAS – have agreed to create replica covers.

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The first stage of the process involved volunteer photographer, Len Slack. Len took high resolution photographs of each chair cover in situ. The collages above show details from Len’s photography.
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Above is a single image prepared by Len. This isolates the cover from its surroundings. The damage to the cover from years of use is obvious.

The NADFAS volunteers will work from these reference images. They will use coloured wools carefully chosen to match the original colours. As the exposed colours are faded, the colours are matched to the unfaded reverse of each embroidered cover. The replicas will be used to cover the chairs. The originals will be displayed in a way that is sensitive to their more delicate condition.

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Hartlebury Castle joins 21st century treasure hunt

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Sep 292015

Two of our volunteers have hidden a geocache in the grounds of Hartlebury Castle.

Over to Jane and Vicky to tell you all about it >

Not sure what geocaching is? It is a treasure hunt in which geocachers use GPS devices or smartphones to navigate to places where other geocachers have placed a cache. Often a plastic box with a log book, some trinkets and possibly a ‘trackable’ travelbug which has been given a mission by its owners. When a geocacher finds a cache they log their visit in the log book, exchange a trinket or take a trackable if they wish. They also log their visit on the geocaching website so the cache owner to see how often the cache has been visited and where the visitors came from.
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By placing a cache in the grounds of Hartlebury Castle we hope to encourage a few more explorers to venture up the drive.

We have already had a small number of visitors. One successful geocacher wrote on the online log:

“Had to go to Webb’s at Wychbold this afternoon so called in here on the way back. Haven’t visited the castle since my cousin had her wedding reception here a long time ago. It’s just started to pour down so will return for a good look around another day. Thank you for putting this out and for bringing us back to this great location.”

In time we hope to report that the cache has attracted visitors from further afield.

Geocaching is a free international pastime. It is pursued by individuals, families and groups across the world. Often caches are placed to encourage people to discover a particular place or point of interest.  Geocaching has taken us to some amazing places that we would otherwise never have found. 

More on geocaching.

More on the Hartlebury cache.

Happy hunting!
Jane & Vicky

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Edging the carriage circle at Hartlebury Castle

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Sep 252015

Today, Jenny, one of our fabulous gardening volunteers did a huge amount of work tidying the line where the Carriage Circle grass meets the tarmac. It is a huge improvement and anyone who feels strong enough to continue the work will be cherished!
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The work involves cutting a line in the grass with a half-moon lawn edger at the point where the grass changes colour and texture as it invades the tarmac (anything between a few inches and a good foot) then, shoving the edger on its side under the grass between the tarmac and the cut line, and lifting it.  It comes away quite easily most of the time. It’s important to watch that you keep a straight(ish) line and a string marker is useful unless you have a very accurate eye.  It does mean a lot of squatting or kneeling.

Just the other side to finished now!

Alison (HCPT Vice president and Volunteer Coordinator)

If you would like to volunteer as a gardener please email Alison Brimelow.

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A day in the life of volunteer steward at Hartlebury Castle.

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Sep 222015

Heritage Open Days. A busy and fun volunteer experience.

They came in waves, sometimes rolling gently in like ripples at the edge of the sea on a sandy beach, sometimes in great tsunamis that left us gasping for breath – but all day we had a flow visitors through the rooms that were open – through the Great Hall, through the 18th century Saloon, into the Chapel and looking at the exhibits on show from the WW1 scrapbooks and the archives.

Opening Hartlebury Castle for Heritage Open Days gave a lot of people the chance to see rooms that they have never entered before – with a few people getting the chance to peep into the Bishop’s Dining Room in its present incarnation (and gaze in astonishment at the amazing 1960s kitchen..!).

The find of postcards depicting the Great Hall and Saloon in years gone by was a real bonus – and much appreciated by visitors. There was the little girl who told us that she ‘loved the Victorians’ and then talked about them with such knowledge, the baby who gazed in contented astonishment at the decorations on the ceiling of the Saloon, the (many) people who marvelled at the intricacies and workmanship of the recreations of the Georgian costumes on show, and all those who appreciated seeing the wonderful red bishop’s cope (with beautifully starched linen sleeves!) on display in the chapel.

Stewarding for a few hours was fun, allowing us to meet and talk to a wide range of people, and to explain some of the next steps being proposed as we work to bring Hartlebury Castle back to life.

Sue, volunteer steward

If you would like to volunteer as a Room Steward please email Alison Brimelow.

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A Hartlebury Castle Volunteer's Story

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Aug 202015

On a lovely sunny day there is something very satisfying, almost spiritual, in spending a few hours in the peace of Hartlebury Castle’s carriage circle getting the gardens back to something approaching their former glory. I regularly get glimpses of what it must have been like in its heyday… take the fabulous fig tree liberated from a mixture of bramble, honeysuckle and ivy which was bravely trying to fruit in spite of its awful entanglement. A few weeks on and it looks healthy and is putting on fresh growth, becoming a magnificent specimen again.

Every time I spend a couple of hours working on the grounds with my fellow volunteer I can really see what we have achieved. The terrace only needed to have the weeds removed from between the slabs but, although it took a full day to complete, even after a short time we were able to look with  satisfaction at progress made.
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Much of the work to date has involved removing pernicious weeds which are determined to swamp whatever was originally planted, but it is not all about hacking back… once cleared the gardens just need a bit of TLC to maintain the progress that has been made. The carriage circle now only requires an occasional visit with a hoe to keep it tidy, but the more volunteers who get involved the less time it takes. 

Clearly, volunteers are not going to be able to do some of the really heavy work removing self seeded trees, cutting back badly overgrown trees or hacking our way through the bamboo, professional support will need to be bought in, but there is a great deal of preparatory work that is quite achievable by volunteers.

Volunteering is not just about getting the work done! There are new acquaintances to be made who add new dimensions to your life. There is relaxation to be found among the delights of the cafe… fab fruit cake and excellent vegetable soup! There is fun to be had and no one cracks the whip! It’s a labour of love on which I love to labour!

If volunteering as a gardener appeals then don’t wait to get in touch. Join Us! There is a huge amount to be done but don’t be daunted by the enormity of the task. Whatever time you can give is appreciated and valuable to the maintenance of our shared heritage.

Jane, enthusiastic garden volunteer

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Hartlebury Castle. Volunteer gardeners wanted.

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Aug 162015

Help manage and maintain the gardens to ensure Hartlebury looks beautiful for visitors. Volunteers needed to help with weeding, planting and other gardening work. An opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ and see the immediate impact of your hard work.

We are need volunteer gardeners on the following dates.

  • Wednesday 9 August, 11am to 4pm
  • Wednesday 26 August, 11am to 4pm
  • Thursday 10 September, 11am to 4pm
  • Friday 11 September, 11am to 4pm
  • Friday 25 September , 11am to 4pm

Join us! If you can provide 2 or more hours please email Alison Brimelow.

Hartlebury Gardening -  Before

Before and…

Hartlebury Gardening 3

…after!

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Hartlebury Castle needs volunteer gardeners

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May 162015

Help manage and maintain the gardens to ensure Hartlebury looks beautiful for visitors. Volunteers needed to help with weeding, planting and other gardening work. An opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ and see the immediate impact of your hard work.

We are holding volunteer gardening days on the following dates.

– Saturday 30 May, 11am to 4pm
– Tuesday 29 June,11am to 4pm
– Saturday 4 July, 11am to 4pm
– Wednesday 15 July, 11am to 4pm

Join us! If you can provide 2 or more hours please email Alison Brimelow

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Volunteer gardener

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