Repainting the Front Elevation of Lytham Hall
Heritage Trust for the North West is pleased to announce that they are getting on with the repainting of the front of Lytham Hall.
As a first stage the North Entrance porch is being painted as a trial area to demonstrate to visitors and the general public how the front of the Hall will look when all the work is complete.
Thanks to the help of Nigel Leaney, a volunteer and paint specialist from Lincolnshire, the Trust has discovered the original colour which John Carr, the architect for Lytham Hall, used in 1764 when the Hall was built.
Nigel, who has a lifetime experience of the work of John Carr, is excited that the Trust is proposing to restore the original colour and is applying for Listed Building Consent for the scheme.
All this work forms part of general repairs to the fabric of the Hall e.g. repairing gutters, fall-pipes, window and door repairs and removing unsightly wiring and repointing areas where the tuck pointing is missing. All this work will be done during the Summer and early Autumn.
The painting is being undertaken by Mr. P. Wilkinson of Lytham and the repair scheme is under the direction of Austin Grady, the Trust’s Building Manager, and Purcell architects.
Lytham Hall got Bags of Help to open a brand new kitchen garden
Published May 2017
For regular visitors to Lytham Hall’s parkland, the kitchen garden project has been fantastic to behold, as every week changes were visible in the area just behind the tea room.
New kitchen garden, planted out
On Tuesday 9 May the project was officially opened, with a crowd of volunteers attending who can’t wait to continue getting stuck in. The garden is looking splendid and it is a real feature for visitors too.
Early in 2016 Lytham Hall project manager Simon Thorpe put in a bid to Tesco’s Bags of Help appeal fund, which Tesco’s customers were able to vote for when doing their shopping. The bid was successful and £10,000 was donated by Tesco for the development of a community kitchen garden next to the apiary. The plan contained 18 raised beds, space for soft fruit, herbs and potatoes, plus composting areas, cycle parking and five disabled car parking spaces.
Sue Lowe, the volunteer coordinator at Lytham Hall said: “Our dedicated team of grounds volunteers have laboured over the winter months, often in inclement weather, to construct the beds, fences and paving. It demonstrated what can be achieved by a small band of determined volunteers.”
They created disabled car parking places and got to grapple with plenty of root-bound soil. Local businesses were contacted to support the scheme, and generous offers followed from Barton Grange garden centre, Robinsons Seeds, Mahoneys, Sloggetts plumbing and Grantham signs.
Sue Lowe (volunteer coordinator) and Emma Barrett (Tesco) in front of kitchen garden sign, with celebratory cake
The official opening of the kitchen garden was performed by Ms Emma Barrett, Tesco store manager (above), to loud applause of the gathered crowd. She was very pleased to see the plastic bag money being put to such good use.
A special appearance was made by Emily Clifton, a descendant of the Clifton family who once called Lytham Hall their home. She kindly took time out of her work schedule down south to join the festivities.
Eva Whalley (3) from Lytham St Annes having tea with the Clifton scarecrows in the newly established kitchen garden
We look forward to seeing the kitchen garden develop further over the summer and using the produce in our tea room.
If you are interested in getting involved with the kitchen garden team, please contact Lytham Hall’s estate office on 01253 736652 (and please mention that you saw it here). Our thanks go out to Tesco Bags of Help fund, and our volunteers for making this project a reality.
Lytham Hall is part of the Historic Houses Association Literary Trail for its association with Evelyn Waugh
Published March 2017
The Historic Houses Association (HHA) has announced the launch of its exciting new online Literary Trail, which Lytham Hall is a part of.
The trail features over 40 HHA Member houses, all around the UK, that have links to literary figures, books and plays.
Lytham Hall and Evelyn Waugh
It’s said that Evelyn Waugh based the character of Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited on Henry de Vere (Harry) Clifton, who was the last Squire to own Lytham Hall.
Waugh visited Lytham Hall in June 1935 and wrote to Katherine Asquith: “A very beautiful house by Kent or someone like him with first-class Italian plaster work. A lap of luxury flowing with champagne and elaborate cookery. Mrs Clifton, Easter (or so she seems to be called), Orsa, a youth seven feet high with a moustache who plays with a clockwork motorcar and an accordion. The above all Cliftons all are tearing mad. The children bright and giggling. Mrs C. more sombre and full of soul. (…) Large park entirely surrounded by trams and villas. Adam dining room. Five hideous Catholic churches on estate. All sitting at separate tables at meals. Two or three good pictures including a Renoir.”
50,000 Hours of Volunteer Labour
Published September 2016
Lytham Hall has come to the end of a busy summer season where we hosted many outdoor events we hope you were able to enjoy.
From Mega Mini Meet to Lytham Club Day, from outdoor theatre to cinema, plant fair, classic car show and Horseman’s Sunday. All of these events were made possible by the unstinting support of our 130 volunteers, who work tirelessly at the gatehouse, in the tea room, in the Hall and in the grounds.
Heritage Open Day on Sunday 11 September was a case in point. We opened the buildings in the parkland free of charge. In the gardener’s cottage visitors could see photos of the changes brought about in the past three years: paths created, trees cleared, steps up the Mount laid, and so on.
The privy was accessible to have a closer look through the Friends of Lytham Hall, and the dovecote was also open, which enabled people to look at the 850 nest boxes inside. The piggeries were spruced up and looking smart, the gatehouse was open with information about the railways coming to Lytham. The stables were accessible by guided tour, in which visitors learned about the Clifton family’s obsession with race horses. The day offered a unique opportunity to look behind the scenes, and it saw over 20 volunteers involved.
At the end of Heritage Open Day, more volunteers gathered in a Jacob’s Join meal, where we were able to say thank you. We say thank you a lot to our volunteers, because not a day goes by where we are without volunteer help. Without their tireless assistance, Lytham Hall would struggle to keep its doors open.
Simon Thorpe, project manager at Lytham Hall said: “We were grateful for the opportunity to say thank you by means of a cake, for over 50,000 volunteer hours committed to Lytham Hall in the past three years.
“And thank you to all our visitors, for your continuous support. We need it now more than ever before.” The cake was made by member of staff Elizabeth Watson and was widely applauded and enjoyed.
If you would like to join Lytham Hall’s volunteer force, please get in touch with the estate office or look at the Lytham Hall website.
Capability Brown Talks
Lytham Hall was chosen as the venue to host the Capability Brown Festival launch in the North West.
On Wednesday 16 March, the historic country house hosted a full day of talks and tours, for people interested in garden history.
View of the recently restored Paradise Garden from the Mount at Lytham Hall. The Mount is an important landscape feature and at 9 metres is the highest point in Lytham. Later improvements to the grounds by Kemp who worked at Chatsworth in Derbyshire, were inspired by the work of Capability Brown.
Keynote speaker Dr David Jacques, author of Georgian Gardens: The Reign of Nature talked about “Lancelot Brown, Gardener to His Majesty at Hampton Court” in the morning. The day was organised by the Lancashire Gardens Trust in association with Heritage Trust for the North West, the charity that manages Lytham Hall.
John Miller, Chief Executive of HTNW said: “There are not many gardens in Lancashire that had any direct work done by Capability Brown, as the west side of the country was less well developed than the east side, where Capability Brown was involved in a lot of gardens, but his ideas inspired many regional garden designers. Dr David Jacques is a real expert on Capability Brown and we were delighted he agreed to be our keynote speaker.”
The Capability Brown Festival in the North West will run through 2016 with a variety of speakers at different venues, as organised by the Lancashire Gardens Trust. For more information, please look at their website http://www.lancsgt.org.uk/
Lytham Hall Tea Room gets a Facelift
Published January 2016
Regular and new visitors to Lytham Hall Tea Room were pleasantly surprised when they visited this month.
The previously unassuming Tea Room has seen an incredible change to comfy chairs, eclectic mahogany tables, vintage china cups, book-lined walls and dramatic lighting.
Heritage Trust for the North West has appointed Paul Anthony and Peter Lomax, well kown locally for their involvement in various successful catering businesses, and in musical and theatre circles, to the staff at Lytham Hall, as the next step in the development of the Tea Room.
As a registered Charity, Heritage Trust for the North West lacks the capital to invest in the Tea Room, and so has to develop the catering facility using a different formula to a traditional business, to help bring in more visitors and generate additional funding to look after the Hall, which unlike other similar attractions receive no revenue grant from the local authorities. The new arrangement continues the Trust’s practice of employing core staff, supplemented by a small band of volunteers.
Peter and Paul came in over the Christmas holiday on a voluntary basis when the Tea Room was closed, to carry out the revamp. They were supported by some regular volunteers and have done a marvellous job – painting walls, wallpapering, hanging soft furnishings, flooring, lighting and replacing all the furniture.
Just as the work of Peter, Paul and Lytham Hall volunteers was essential, the changes wouldn’t have been possible without the support of local businesses and organisations which have generously supported the makeover with materials, labour and donations.
Celebrating Progress at Lytham Hall
Published June 2015
Civic guests, trustees and volunteers gathered at Lytham Hall to celebrate progress with the restoration work at Lytham Hall.
John Miller, Chief Executive of Heritage Trust for the North West, welcomed Councillor Kevin Eastham, the Mayor of Fylde and County Councillor Kevin Ellard, the Chairman of Lancashire County Council and Mr Robert Parker, Technical Adviser (voluntary) to the Historic Houses Association.
Mr Robert Parker chaired the proceedings and shared his personal experiences of developing and managing a Country House and Estate and the many challenges it involves. Mr Parker is also President of the Lancashire Gardens Trust and introduced the key speakers.
Ruth Thurnhill (volunteer) from Lancashire Gardens Trust, gave a glimpse of the Lytham Hall papers deposited by the Lord of the Manor Mr J H Hilton into the history of the parkland which she has discovered during her research at Lancashire Records Office, including discovering the name Paradise Garden and Paradise wall, for the area we have come to know as the South Prospect garden.
Edward Thorp, landscape architect with Randall Thorp who has overseen the parkland restoration project, celebrated the effort and hard work the volunteers had put in, which has brought the vision to life to transform the woodland back into parkland and garden.
John Hornyak, lead parkland volunteer and former head of Horticulture at Myerscough College, talked about trees and what they mean in a landscape. He ended by showcasing the Cedar of Lebanon, which came down in a storm around 1930, when Lytham Hall was leased to the Nuttall family. It is planned to plant a Cedar of Lebanon in the original position.
The second half of the day focussed on the next phases of restoration on the Hall, as volunteers learned more about Georgian architect John Carr’s paint schemes from volunteer historic paint expert Nigel Leaney. Project architect Rob Chambers from leading conservation practice Purcell, briefed the gathering about the external works needed on the Hall, with some brilliant close-up photographs from up high and an explanation of tuck pointing to the brickwork.