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concert

Cello concert with Guy Johnston – Saturday 7 July 2018

Renowned cellist Guy Johnston will be playing at All Saints Church at Mapperton on the evening of Saturday 7 July. The programme will include three of Bach’s cello suites and other pieces.
Tickets will be £25 and a glass of wine will also be available. Contact office@mapperton.com or call 01308 862645.

Volunteer

Volunteer Ruth discovers the Grand Tour at Mapperton

Ruth Harger, one of Mapperton’s new volunteer guides, says she is excited to be learning about the history of the Montagu family and Mapperton – and the latest display for visitors.

Ruth, from Drimpton, who has recently retired after 15 years working in NHS Primary Care, latterly at a Chard medical practice, is joining the team of volunteers who show visitors round Mapperton, the family home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich.

She says: “I was missing the day to day contact with people, so I looked on a volunteering website and saw that Mapperton always needs new guides. I met Lord Sandwich and loved the idea of showing people round and telling them about the family history and the house.

“I am looking forward to doing plenty of research and reading as well as shadowing other guides in preparation for meeting visitors!”

Ruth has learned that the theme chosen this year is about the 18th century ‘gap year’ known as the Grand Tour, in this case the voyage round the Mediterranean undertaken by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, at the age of 21.  This will be the subject of a new display for visitors when the house reopens for guided tours on 1 April.

While most of his contemporaries contented themselves with visits to France and Italy, in 1738 the young Earl, accompanied by his friend, William Ponsonby, chartered a boat, and set sail from Naples, visiting the Mediterranean islands en route to Greece, Turkey and Egypt.

With them was the fashionable Swiss portrait painter Jean-Etienne Liotard, who frequently painted European travellers in Turkish costume and himself enthusiastically adopted Oriental dress during his time in the Near East.

Lord Sandwich says: “We are delighted to welcome Ruth to our team of Mapperton volunteers.

“The travels of the 4th Earl are fascinating and we have the original journal of his voyage, which was published in book form after his death. I hope all our visitors will enjoy finding out more about another colourful side of his life.”

Mapperton House is open from 1 April until 31 October 2018 from 12pm to 4pm, Sundays to Thursdays. The House can be visited by guided tour only. More information at www.mapperton.com

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer guide should contact 01308 862645 or email office@mapperton.com

musical shakespeare

Musical Shakespeare – Hamlet Sunday 19 August 2018

The Three Inch Fools are a five-strong troupe of actors with all manner of musical instruments, travelling with set, props, costumes and camping gear, performing a highly imaginative and vibrantly musical take on Shakespeare’s plays. This year’s production is Hamlet on Sunday 19 August.

We recommend that you bring blankets/chairs to sit on. Do bring coats and warm clothing, and if rain is forecast bring a raincoat. We ask that you don’t bring umbrellas as these can obscure the view for other people in the audience. In the event of rain the performance will continue! The performance starts at 2.30pm, picnics welcome from 1pm.

The performance is in the grounds at Mapperton at 2.30pm on Sunday 19 August 2018. Tickets are £15 for adults; £12 for concessions (senior citizens and under-18s), obtainable from the Mapperton Estate office on 01308 862645, or on the gate.

snowdrop mapperton

Snowdrop Sundays – 4th and 11th February 2018

Join us for our Snowdrop Sundays in the grounds at Mapperton on 4th and 11th February 2018 from 11am to 4pm.

Come and walk around the grounds and spot the snowdrops as well as other early signs of spring.

The National Gardens Scheme and Perennial, the gardeners’ charity, will benefit from shared proceeds. Coffees, teas and delicious cakes will be available. Entrance is £4.50. Children free.

Mapperton wedding venue

Mapperton awarded £140,000 grant for wedding venue conversion

Mapperton Estate has been awarded a grant of almost £140,000 by the Southern Dorset Local Action Group.

The LEADER grant of £139,782 will go towards converting a 17th century coach house into a new wedding venue and providing improved facilities for visitors. The project is expected to create seven new jobs at Mapperton House & Gardens near Beaminster.

Voted the ‘nation’s finest manor house’ by Country Life magazine, Mapperton is the family home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich.

As part of an ongoing programme of improvements, the conversion of the coach house will also include a new café, commercial kitchen and lavatories. A new access road and parking area were laid this summer.

Luke Montagu, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, said: “We are very pleased that LEADER has chosen to fund this conversion project, which we believe will become Dorset’s finest country house wedding venue, bringing more employment and wider economic benefits to the area.

“The Coach House will be a unique entertainment space which will host weddings and other events for up to 120 people. In addition, we will convert part of the building into a new café alongside other improvements for visitors.

“The building will be heated by our new biomass boiler system, using wood harvested from the estate.

“We hope the work will start in November and expect it to be completed around April next year.

Sir Christopher Lees, chair of the Southern Dorset LAG Executive Committee added: “This project was strongly supported by the Southern Dorset LAG. The money will help provide a far better experience for the visitors to Mapperton, and, in the Committee’s view, promote tourism away from the coast in the beautiful countryside of Dorset.

“We are immensely proud to be able to support this expansion by Mapperton Estate, as it will provide sustainability to the business and added employment in the heart of Dorset.”

The project has been designed by Raise Architects based in Sherborne and led by Andy Foster.

He said: “Converting a 17th century building into a contemporary entertaining space is both challenging and highly rewarding.

“Apart from two new doorways the internal fabric of the building will remain untouched, and visitors will therefore be able to appreciate the exposed stonework, orignal cross beams, wall posts and corbels.

“The building will however benefit from the addition of roof insulation, new timber flooring and many of the external doors will be restored.

“Raise Architects are passionate about finding new uses for historic buildings and are delighted to be working on such an important Dorset conservation project.”

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England, where the local community decides where grants would have the most benefit. Opportunities to increase the length of the tourist season and create full time, year round employment are priorities for the Southern Dorset Local Action Group.

Grants are European funding and as such are available until 2019. Applications are welcomed by the LAG at any time for capital projects in small and micro businesses, farming, forestry, rural communities and tourism.

 

Plant Fair Mapperton

Autumn Charity Plant Fair – 17 September 2017

It’s time for our Autumn Plant Fair which takes place on Sunday 17 September. 10am to 4pm. It’s a treat for keen gardeners! This sale is well established and is now in its 15th year. With more than 30 specialist nurseries and plant-related stands, including gifts and plant supports, in the courtyard and side garden. Coffee, teas and light refreshments are available. Admission £3. A percentage of the entry fee will be donated to Weldmar Hospice, Dorchester. More information at www.plantfairs.co.uk

 

 

Mapperton Dorset volunteers

Would you like to join the Mapperton team of volunteers?

A call has gone out for more volunteers to join the team showing off Mapperton House and Gardens to visitors.

Guided tours of the Jacobean manor house near Beaminster give small groups of visitors the opportunity to see inside the family home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich.

One volunteer is Annemarie Henham, former head of school at a Nottinghamshire comprehensive.

Annemarie, who moved to Chilfrome in Dorset after her retirement, is now helping to set up an education programme for young people in the local community.

“I had been to Mapperton to look round the gardens when we were househunting – and it was absolutely gorgeous,” she said.

“Then my husband mentioned that they were looking for volunteers and I came along to find out more. However – in addition to volunteering – I’ve also been helping Mapperton create its first education programme for schools.

“This is an exciting new venture and we are looking forward to inviting teachers to Mapperton in September so they can see at first hand what a wonderfully rich learning environment it is. Mapperton offers a wealth of opportunities for young learners to explore, engage, and be inspired. ”

Luke Montagu, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, said that Mapperton’s team of volunteers is key to providing visitors with a memorable experience.

“We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team, and would very much like to hear from anyone with an interest in British history who enjoys  meeting and talking to new people.

“We’re very lucky to be working with Annemarie who has kindly volunteered as a tour guide.  With her background as a head of school, Annemarie is also helping us set up a new education programme which we plan to launch later this year.

“All our volunteers come from very diverse backgrounds and each brings something different to their roles here.”

Volunteers are entitled to travel expenses and light refreshments in the Sawmill Café for each visit.

Anyone interested should contact the Estate Office on 01308 862645 or email office@mapperton.com.

mapperton three inch fools

Musical Shakespeare – Twelfth Night Sunday 20 August 2017

The Three Inch Fools are a five-strong troupe of actors with all manner of musical instruments, travelling with set, props, costumes and camping gear, performing a highly imaginative and vibrantly musical take on Shakespeare’s plays.

We recommend that you bring blankets/chairs to sit on. Do bring coats and warm clothing, and if rain is forecast bring a raincoat. We ask that you don’t bring umbrellas as these can obscure the view for other people in the audience. In the event of rain the performance will continue! The performance starts at 2.30pm, picnics welcome from 1pm.

The performance is in the grounds at Mapperton at 2.30pm on Sunday 20 August 2017. Tickets are £15 for adults; £12 for concessions (senior citizens and under-18s), obtainable from the Mapperton Estate office on 01308 862645, or on the gate.

easter trail

Easter Garden Trail for children – Easter Monday 17 April

Follow the clues through the gardens on our Easter Monday Trail for children – with a prize at the end! 11am to 3pm on Easter Monday 17 April. Children’s Trail entry £3. Normal garden entry applies for adults.

Samuel Pepys exhibit to highlight historic Restoration

Diaries by the 1st Earl of Sandwich and his cousin Samuel Pepys, marking an historic royal moment, will be a highlight for visitors to Mapperton House, this summer.

The day King Charles II boarded a ship on the coast of Holland to return from exile on 23 May 1660 was chronicled by both men, who were in attendance on the Charles, formerly the Naseby.

The then Admiral Edward Montagu was head of the fleet and captained the ship on the King’s triumphal return to English soil after nine years.

Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist, and Montagu’s younger cousin, was a clerk in the Navy Office at the time and later became Secretary to the Navy, responsible for preparing the fleet for the Dutch Wars.

Later given the title of Earl of Sandwich as recognition for his part in restoring Charles to the throne, Edward Montagu’s handwritten journal gives a fascinating picture of a hugely important day in the history of the English monarchy.

Pepys’ writings include lively and often amusing accounts direct from the King on how his dishevelled state meant he was often mistaken for a “rogue’ during his flight from Cromwell’s forces and how he at one point was forced to drink alcohol to prove he wasn’t a Roundhead.

The Earl of Sandwich says: ”Samuel Pepys captures everyone’s imagination and he seems the perfect vehicle to explain what was happening in the 17th century, especially when the King came back to claim the throne.

“The soon-to-be 1st Earl was given the task of bringing his Majesty home on board his ship, the newly renamed ‘Charles’.

“We hope our visitors will enjoy this exhibit and we are very lucky to have our team of volunteer guides on hand to help us interpret these wonderful stories.”

Mapperton House is open for guided tours from 2 April 2017.