A packed four-day programme of events celebrating 400 years of Ingestre Hall has been announced.
The milestone will be marked by musical performances, tours of previously unseen rooms in the impressive building, and culminating in a day-long festival on August 31.
An opera Dido & Aeneas by Purcell will be performed on August 28, 29 and 30 inside the hall and Chris Gumbley with Fascinating Rhythm will close the celebrations on August 31 at 7.30pm at Ingestre Church.
The day-long festival provides activities for adults and children who can try or observe skills that have survived from when the Hall was built in 1613 such as archery, wood carving, willow weaving, embroidery, spinning, calligraphy, book binding, glass art, stone masonry, or the skills of a blacksmith.
There will be a costumed procession, Talbot vintage cars, equestrian demonstrations and a Mummers Play will be performed.
New guided tours of the hall will provide access to some private first floor rooms and works of art that have never before been open to the public. This rare opportunity will fulfil requests from visitors in the past to see more of the historic hall. Two recently acquired films will also be shown that give a new insight into the hall.
Organised by Ingestre Festival Association and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the days will be led by volunteers from the local community.
Gill Broadbent from the association said: “The funding will enable us to create the first detailed record of Ingestre Hall’s rich heritage. A DVD of skills and talents displayed during the festival, a short heritage trail for children, an updated catalogue of the hall’s fantastic art collection and the oral history of local people will also be produced. This material will be launched at an event in November 2013.”
Entrance to the festival is £5 for adults and free for children. Guided talks cost £2.50 with a limited number of places available. For Information and tickets visit www.ingestrefestival.ticketsource.co.uk, or call 07858 333682.