West Hors­ley Place opens for Her­itage week­end

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

FOR the first time, the Grade I listed West Hors­ley Place will be open to visitors dur­ing the 2017 Her­itage Open Days fes­ti­val.

On the week­end of September 9 and 10, peo­ple will be able to visit the me­dieval manor house which stands at the cen­tre of a 380acre es­tate, sep­a­rat­ing the Sur­rey vil­lages of East and West Hors­ley.

Dat­ing from the 15th cen­tury, West Hors­ley Place is a house of sig­nif­i­cant his­toric and ar­chi­tec­tural im­por­tance. With sur­viv­ing in­te­ri­ors from the 16th to the 18th cen­tury, with lit­tle 19th or 20th cen­tury in­ter­ven­tion.

The house has passed through the hands of own­ers in­clud­ing Carew Raleigh, son of Sir Wal­ter Raleigh, and Lady El­iz­a­beth Fitzger­ald, ‘Fair Geral­dine’ of the Earl of Sur­rey’s fa­mous son­net.

It has hosted roy­alty in­clud­ing Henry VIII, who en­joyed a 35-course lunch in the Great Hall, and Queen El­iz­a­beth I.

In 2014, his­to­rian and for­mer pre­sen­ter of Uni­ver­sity Chal­lenge Bam­ber Gas­coigne un­ex­pect­edly in­her­ited West Hors­ley Place from his aunt, Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe.

Decades of be­nign ne­glect had taken their toll on the house and on the eight Grade II listed struc­tures sit­u­ated on the es­tate. In Oc­to­ber 2016, West Hors­ley Place was placed on the English Her­itage ‘at risk’ reg­is­ter.

To re­store the house and es­tate, Bam­ber and Christina Gas­coigne trans­ferred own­er­ship of West Hors­ley Place to a char­ity, The Mary Roxburghe Trust. Once re­stored, West Hors­ley Place is in­tended to be­come a vi­brant cen­tre for the per­form­ing and vis­ual arts, and for the teach­ing of crafts.

A first step has been a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Grange Park Opera, whose Theatre in the Woods was built and opened in the grounds this year.

Fur­ther funds have come from the use of the es­tate as a film set. The house was re­cently the main lo­ca­tion for My Cousin Rachel, star­ring Rachel Weisz.

Pro­ceeds from the sale of a num­ber of the Duchess of Roxbughe’s pos­ses­sions have been given to the char­ity by Bam­ber and Christina Gas­coigne and the trust will con­tinue to raise funds.

West Hors­ley Place will be open on Satur­day September 9 (noon to 4pm), co­in­cid­ing with the West Hors­ley Vil­lage Fete, and Sun­day September 10 (11am to 4pm) when tours of the theatre will be held, book­able via www.grangepark­opera.com.

The gar­dens are open for visitors to ex­plore at their leisure but tours of the house must be pre-booked.

Book­ing opens on Mon­day at 10am and closes on September 7 at 5pm, via [email protected]­hors­ley­place.org or call 01483 282032.

Pic­ture: Andy Lam­bert

Ae­rial footage of the Mem­bers’ Bank­ing within Brook­lands Mu­seum.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.