Bridgnorth Elizabethan home to reopen doors to visitors for first time since 2019

One of Britain's finest Elizabethan homes will be re-opening its doors this weekend for the first time since 2019.

Upton Cressett Hall near Bridgnorth, the home of the Cash family, will be welcoming visitors on Saturday and Sunday with the first chance for people to take part in its new audio tour and woodland trail.

Author, William Cash said they had reinvented the tour during the successive lockdowns since March last year, and that it will now see visitors guided on a historic journey by a figure from the hall's past.

The audio tour has been produced by ATS Heritage, the company behind tours of St Paul's Cathedral and the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle.

An audio tour has also been added

It will be led by 'the voice' of Sir Francis Cressett, the former steward and treasurer to Charles I, who was part of the family who lived at the hall for more than 800 years.

The idea behind the new tour was to allow people to take part in socially distanced visits to the home, while the new heritage woodland trail offers a fresh outdoor attraction.

William Cash said they were thrilled to be able to welcome people back, after an entire season wiped out by pandemic.

He said: "We're delighted to be re-opening of Upton Cressett Hall and Gardens to the Shropshire public this weekend for the first time since 2019.

Inside the gatehouse at Upton Cressett Hall

"We have survived being closed for an entire season thanks to the Cultural Recovery Fund and we are re-opening with a focus on a family day out in the gardens and new woodland trail and a new audio tour led by Sir Francis Cressett who was with Charles I when he was executed in 1649."

Mr Cash explained how they had used support from the Cultural Recovery Fund, which was put in place to help attractions affected by the pandemic, to set up the new tour.

He said: "As part of making the tour experience safe, we are launching a new 45 minute socially distant audio tour of Upton Cressett with a tour led by Sir Francis Cressett, along with commentary on the house paintings from BBC's Fake or Fortune TV presenter Philip Mould OBE and commentary from Sir Bill and Biddy Cash and about the 50 year restoration story of Upton Cressett.

Inside Upton Cressett Hall's gatehouse

"The tour is produced by ATS Heritage who produce the tours for St Paul's Cathedral and Highclere Castle, with the audio produced in a sound studio in Shrewsbury. The socially distant woodland trail and audio tour were made possible thanks to the government's Culture Recovery Fund.

"We are also opening a new family woodland heritage trail that has taken six months to build."

As well as the tours people will be able to visit the Bosworth Tea Pavilion, which will be serving homemade cake and tea, along with Lady Laura Cathcart's millinery studio.

To mark the grand opening the last remaining members of the Cressett family will be in attendance, with a special dinner being held in their honour on Saturday night.

Visitors have not been able to look round since 2019

The four members of the Thursby-Pelham Cressett family are descendants of those that lived at Upton Cressett as MPs and High Sheriffs for 800 years from the 12th century to 1926.

It will be the first time they have visited the home in nearly 100 years.

The hall will be open from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday, 26th June and from 11.30am to 5pm on Sunday, 27th June.

It will then be open on all Wednesday and Sunday afternoons for the remainder of June, July, August and September.

For more information and to book tickets visit uptoncressetthall.co.uk

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