Charity preview day on 14th September.
Sunday 14th September will herald the chance to preview the Historic Park at Hagley Hall well before it is due to reopen in Spring 2016. Owner Lord Cobham has offered a charity preview day with all funds raised going to local youth homelessness charity St Basils.
After four years of planning and many months of restoration work, after consulting with engineers and architects and members of English Heritage, the most famous features of this important park have now been restored to their former 18th century grandeur when the park attracted visitors from across the world.
A visit is more than just a walk or a day out, it’s an inspirational experience; every part of the 350 acre estate has been carefully and cleverly designed to ensure the hairs on the back of your neck tingle as you spy the rotunda bathed in sunshine from the depths of the hermit’s wooded gloom, to ensure that height and depth is considered, that views are framed with trees and colour and that from every point of interest, you can spy another more glorious viewpoint further up.
The £1.5 million restoration work undertaken included rebuilding part of the original palladium, a covered platform over the lake at the point that would afford the best view, up over the gentle crash of the cascades to the rotunda with its newly restored roof. It also included work to ensure in every part of the park the sound of running water can be heard which was also an important feature of the original plans, aiming to further promote a sense of contentment and peace.
In some ways it is ironic that such care was taken to ensure spontaneous outbursts of emotion, that as you came out of densely packed trees to a clearing and watched baby deer scamper away, you would happen upon a ruined castle, Lucy’s Folly, evoking a sense of lost abandonment, but such was the style that became popular in the 1800s as garden design and architecture moved away from the very formal arrangements of the classical era.
Lord Cobham said: “This park was originally designed to inspire the painters and the poets of the 18th century and we were keen to restore the original features sensitively so that they also restore the senses and emotions they were designed to evoke.”
He added: “We are incredibly excited that we will once again we will be able to supply a haven of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the Black Country to those who want it.”
All proceeds raised from ticket sales for the day will go to St Basils youth homelessness charity and over 100 tickets have already been sold and posted out. Visit www.stbasils.org.uk/hagleyhall or call 0121 772 9614. The park will also be featured on the next episode of BBC1’s Country File, due to be aired on Sunday 7th September.