Episode 1: Halswell Park
The first instalment in the Halswell Park documentary series.
Through interviews with art and architecture historian Roy Bolton, conservation director Mark Lidster and project architect Claire Fear, we delve into the history and legacy of historic Halswell House, how it came into the hands of current owner Edward Strachan and his vision of restoring the manor to its former glory as a true British landmark.
On Thursday 18th August , Halswell House hosted a visit by members of the Weston Super Mare U3 (University of the Third Age) Architecture Appreciation Society
Russell Lillford, Chairman of the Somerset Building Preservation Trust had given a talk to their members last winter and suggested that this was followed up with a visit to Halswell. The visit, led by Martha Perriam, proved very popular with a full contingent of 30 turning out.
The group were welcomed by Mark Lidster and Sam Foster of Corbel Conservation and Ann Manders of the SBPT.
Following a short site Health and Safety induction from Sam, the group took the opportunity to view the display of maps, photographs and other historical documents set up in the meeting room. Ann then gave a brief talk covering the history of the site which was followed by a guided tour of the house, taking in the main staircase, the Chinese wallpaper room, the ballroom, the master bedroom, the back stairs and finally up out onto the roof.
During the tour Mark spoke about the various aspects and challenges of restoring and conserving the fabric of the house and the important historical features. Once on the roof the group were able to view the surrounding countryside and historic parkland, they were also treated to a wonderful birds eye view of the recent roof restoration works to the Tudor range.
Following their rooftop descent the group took the opportunity to wander around the garden and woodland surrounding the house and especially enjoyed visiting the newly restored Rotunda.
The group expressed their thanks to Mark, Ann and especially the owner, Edward Strachan, for a very interesting afternoon and hoped that they would be able to visit again as the restoration work progresses.
Country Life magazine published the first of two articles focussing on Halswell.
This article contains valuable photographic evidence of the internal layouts of the rooms at the height of the Edwardian period.
(Click page below for full article)
Edward Strachan discusses the historic park and gardens for Somerset Gardens Trust Magazine, Summer Edition
Edward Strachan discusses the historic park and gardens for Somerset Gardens Trust Magazine, Spring Edition