Ragley Hall Invests In The New Season
Ragley Hall prepares for seasonal change by flinging its stately doors open to a heightened visitor experience. Abigal Parkin
The Palladian mansion, designed by Robert Hooke in 1680, is the Warwickshire home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford and the family will be welcoming visitors anew on Saturday 19 March.
Initiatives include the appointment of a house manager and head gardener to lead guided walks in the gardens, linked to veteran landscape designer, Capability Brown. Elsewhere the children’s playground is sure to continue its popularity and a myriad of events bring Game Fair, Classic Car & Motor Show, Battle Proms Concert and Great British Food Festival to enthusiasts. Brand new is Camper Calling, a family festival held over the August bank holiday.
In addition there will be regular garden open days and tours of the stately home plus sporting events such as the avenger triathlon, open water swimming and extreme cross country running as well as boat hire on the lake during the summer.
This year celebrates the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown and his work in Warwickshire. The gardens will help mark this tercentenary with colourful bloom of tulips and daffodils in the spring and a Rose Garden and Prairie Garden throughout the summer.
Government higher level stewardship input and a partnership with Natural England means that Ragley has embarked upon a £250,000 scheme to improve the parkland this year. Tree replanting and the restoration of the lake cascade, the Victorian Pump House and original bathing hut plus the Victorian decoy pond, comprise some of the improvement measures.
The importance of dining at Ragley Hall is highlighted by the appointment of a new head chef so that visitors can enjoy home-cooked dishes in the Terrace Café. These feature light lunches, afternoon teas, cakes, and ice-cream. Corporate lunches and wedding breakfasts in the Hall add to the events dimension.
Visitor tours take in the Great Hall, Red Saloon, State Dining Room, Prince Regent’s Bedroom, the Mauve Siting Room, Music Room, Breakfast Room and Green Drawing Room as well as the South Staircase Hall and its imposing mural, ‘The Temptation’ by Graham Rust.
Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens entrance : - Adult day ticket £10.50, Child aged 5-16 £6.50, Child under 5 – Free.
See more at www.ragley.co.uk.