History comes to life at Dudmaston Hall

History comes to life at Dudmaston Hall

Visitors to Dudmaston Hall on 8th May will be given the opportunity to find out all about the many different people who have lived in the Hall since the eighteenth century.

Dudmaston was donated to the National Trust by Lady Rachel Labouchere in 1978 and has seen a rich tapestry of family members residing within its walls.  Many of whom were considered to be innovators of their time.  Probably the best known by people today is Charles Babbage, inventor of ‘Differential Engine No. 1’, the forefather of the computer, who not only resided there but also designed the Hall’s heating system.

Dudmaston has been subject to a chequered past at the hands of some of its previous owners and visitors can find out more about this by following the ‘Rags to Riches’ tour of the house.  Visitors will also get to meet some of the more colourful characters in person who are being brought to life by members of Bridgnorth’s Theatre on the Steps; and will be given the opportunity to take part in some Charles Babbage inspired experiments; whilst children will also have the opportunity to dress up as some of the characters depicted in the paintings.

However the focus will not simply be on members of the family, as those “below stairs” also had their stories to tell, giving a fascinating insight into day to day life within the Hall and on the Estate; whilst remembering those things that others would rather had been forgotten. 

For those that have a keen interest in history or simply like to see things that would not normally be on display, this is the ideal day to visit; as there will be the opportunity to see many of the photographs held within the collections at the Hall which usually reside within the archives.  Not only are these personal photographs taken of the people who have lived on the estate, but they also give visitors the opportunity to compare whether the parts of the estate that they have already visited have changed over the years since the photographs were taken. 

House Steward Kellie Channing said “we are really excited to be working with members of the Theatre on the Steps who are helping us bring to life the characters  who have lived at Dudmaston.  We have many artefacts within our collection but there is simply not enough space to display them all; and this gives us the perfect opportunity for people to see more.”

This is just a taste of what will be on offer.  The gates will open at 11.30am and last admissions will be at 5.30pm.  For more information please telephone (01746) 780866 or e-mail dudmaston@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Date Posted: 5th May 2011

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