03 Oct 2023
by Eleanor Carter

People walking in front of a two story stone building with a formal box hedge garden in the foreground.
(© Lamport Hall & Gardens)

Why we take part 

We wanted to do more for the local community, promote the work we do for conservation here at the Hall and also attract people from the area who regularly say they pass but have never visited. We hope that some of these visitors will feel inspired to visit again or come to some of our events.

What we do for HODs

2023 Event directory description: Explore the Hall and its gardens and enjoy the unique opportunity to meet some of the skilled conservators who work on our collection, plus: 

  • Special tours with our Head Gardener
  • Local artists' display in the stables
  • Hannington Vintage Tractor Club demos
  • Family activities and hands-on crafts to enjoy as well as a treasure trail and Georgian characters to meet 
Small group of people of varying ages gathered round a small table covered with conservation equipment in the library of a historic house.

Inspired by Icon to participate, the pop up conservation stations were a huge hit with visitors. (© Lamport Hall & Gardens)

We received an e-newsletter earlier in the year outlining ICON's involvement with Heritage Open Days in 2023 to promote the fantastic work that conservators do across the UK. We are proud to support a variety of UK based conservators and felt this was a brilliant way to support them and show our visitors the hard work that goes on behind the scenes maintaining such a varied and important collection. It was absolutely wonderful on the day to see visitors so engaged with the conservators, asking interesting questions and opening their eyes to the huge amount of work that goes into each individual book, painting, curtain and piece of furniture each year. We are excited to hear more about the theme for next year and brainstorming as a team to come up with our second HODs event after the resounding success of our first event.

The difference it makes

My role is diverse so HODs needed to fit in with my busy and eclectic schedule which it did well. The resources and support available from both HODs and the local council were invaluable particularly in terms of promoting the event. As with any event, it took many hours to organise but nothing which was too demanding on my time or detracting from my other tasks. It felt very simple to get people interested in coming by offering more than usual but nothing that took extensive time and attention to organise. I really liked the extra resources which were provided for us and helped us keep a consistent brand and theme on the day. This event was always meant to be a showcase of Lamport and the conservation work we do here to shout about the amazing achievements of the Preservation Trust for those living locally. I felt like we achieved this with the event and actually exceeded my expectations in terms of the amount of really engaged visitors we welcomed.

Best bit

The amount of visitors all enjoying the variety of activities we put on. People seemed genuinely to want to spend time here and were sitting in the gardens for some hours, engaging with all the exhibitors and having some great chats with our conservators. Everyone seemed to want to learn more about the book repairs, stained glass making, textile conservation, leathercraft and lace making – it was lovely to witness. Younger visitors were exploring the activities on offer too which is always nice to see as they’re the next generation of heritage visitors. 

Eleanor's Top Tip

Have proper plans in place to manage a large amount of visitors including car parkers and staggered entry systems. Utilise the resources available to you through HODs. Listen to your local community and create an event which you feel will best attract them. We really enjoyed the opportunity to shout about how wonderful Lamport is and that actually it is a world-class collection right on people’s doorsteps!

Six croquet mallets and their coloured balls laid down on a green lawn.
Lamport laid out the kits and the weather was perfect for games on the lawn, for all ages to engage with. (© Lamport Hall & Gardens)

Inspired?! Find out more