OPP Day 10 – Gardens of Stowe

Our group is currently en route to Oxford for an afternoon of exploring the city. I am taking this opportunity to write a quick post on our tour around the Stowe House gardens. They are owned and operated by the National Trust. The house, however, is managed and owned by the Stowe Preservation Trust and Stowe School. Our guide was Philip Clarke who accompanied us on a morning stroll through most of the gardens. We stopped at around six temples and heard a little about their significance and place in the landscape. Continue reading “OPP Day 10 – Gardens of Stowe”

OPP Day 9 -Stowe House

We had a very jam-packed day at Stowe. In total we listened to four lectures and had a very comprehensive tour of the entire house. Whilst I would love to write a little something on each of the talks and on the tour, I feel as though that would be an incredibly long post. Instead, I am only going to write on the tour of the house we had with Susan, a wonderful volunteer. Rather than dates and events, the tour focused on the stories of the house and those that lived within. The house was originally owned by the Temples-Grenville family and was built in the late 17th century and completely rebuilt in the 18th century. Arriving in England as sheep farmers, the family eventually worked their way up the social ladder to become Dukes and Duchesses. Continue reading “OPP Day 9 -Stowe House”

OPP Day 8 -Windsor Castle

Today was a pretty intense day. Apart from around five hours of driving around the lower part of England, we stopped at both the Jane Austen House and Windsor Castle. This post will focus solely on Windsor Castle. Here we listened to a talk by one of the Royal Library curators, Elizabeth Clark Ashby. She presented on the new exhibition titled Shakespeare in the Royal Library. It was a fantastic talk that explored so many elements of exhibition design.

Continue reading “OPP Day 8 -Windsor Castle”

OPP Day 7 – Regency Town House

As well as the Royal Pavilion, yesterday we visited the Regency Town House. The house is a grade I heritage listed building in the heart of Brighton. It is currently being transformed into a heritage centre and museum. The purpose of our visit was to learn not only about the architectural history of Brighton and Hove, but also, the conservation and preservation efforts. Our tour guide was curator Nick Tyson who was an incredibly passionate individual and gave us a wonderful tour of both the upstairs and the downstairs of the house. Continue reading “OPP Day 7 – Regency Town House”

OPP Day 6 – The Brighton Pavilion

The Brighton Pavilion was one of the brightest and most architecturally interesting buildings I have ever visited. From the outside, it looks similar to a building complex you may find in India. It is stunning juxtaposed against the other buildings in Brighton. We had two talks in the Pavilion. The first was by Deborah Lambert who works in the fundraising team. We were then guided around by Jackie Marsh-Hobbs who was so passionate and knowledgeable. Continue reading “OPP Day 6 – The Brighton Pavilion”

OPP Day 5 – Stonehenge

On our way to Brighton we had a momentary stop at Stonehenge to enjoy the site and its surrounding countryside. Having visited Stonehenge in the winter of 2008 I had never seen the visitor centre that opened in 2014 or the site so bustling with tourists. I think in 2008 we were the only visitors at the site. It was definitely a different experience! Continue reading “OPP Day 5 – Stonehenge”

OPP Day 4 -Museum of Bath Architecture

Over the past three days in Bath we have mainly focused on the principles of conservation and exhibition development. Today, we were joined by Polly Andrews for a very comprehensive workshop on audience engagement. Our session started with a short powerpoint presentation on engagement strategies and how to create school and community group activities. Continue reading “OPP Day 4 -Museum of Bath Architecture”

OPP Day 3 – No. 1 Royal Crescent

On the agenda today was a session at No. 1 Royal Crescent Museum and the Cleveland Pools. When we arrived at the museum we were divided into two groups. My group went first with exhibition developer Kate Rogers to see the museum’s temporary exhibition. Titled “Indulgence” the museum traces daily delights in Georgian Bath through a variety of themes. These include Journey and Arrival in Bath, Comfort Eating, Evening Entertainment, and Trivial Pursuits. Continue reading “OPP Day 3 – No. 1 Royal Crescent”

OPP Day 2 – Beckford’s Tower and Museum

We spent most of today at Beckford’s Tower and Museum with the unbelievably amazing Dr Amy Frost from the Bath Preservation Trust. Her absolute wealth of knowledge will be tapped into over the next three days as she joins us again tomorrow for the Royal Crescent and Thursday for the Museum of Bath Architecture. For today, the focus was on heritage conservation, specifically buildings. After an in depth tour on the tower and a spiel on UK heritage laws and practices we broke into groups and completed our own building survey. Continue reading “OPP Day 2 – Beckford’s Tower and Museum”

OPP Day 1 – Walking Tour of Bath

Today was the first day of the Open Palace Programme. This morning we embarked on a guided tour by the Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guide, Phil, around the city centre. The theme of the tour was the historical and architectural evolution of the city. Lasting just over 2 hours, it provided a great introduction to the city and covered a significant amount of information. Continue reading “OPP Day 1 – Walking Tour of Bath”