SEWERBY HALL : COUNTDOWN TO REOPENING ON 9 AUGUST
The final stages of the £2.6 million project to restore Sewerby Hall are now underway. East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s contractor for the project, William Birch & Sons, has now completed the restoration works to take the hall back to how it would have looked during the country house’s heyday of 1910.
Over the next few weeks, the focus of the restoration will turn to the installation of furniture, paintings and historical artefacts to recreate the look and feel of this beautiful country house. The museum curator at the hall has brought together furniture and artefacts from the Victoria and Albert Museum, in combination with East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s collections, to recreate the style of the house as it was.
Max Donnelly, Curator of 19th-Century Furniture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, said: ‘We are delighted to be loaning 40 objects from the V&A’s collection to help recreate the look of Sewerby Hall in 1910. The V&A has been working on the project for five years, and I am looking forward to seeing so many important objects from the Museum’s collection in place. We hope that the furniture will help bring alive the history of Sewerby Hall for visitors to this fine building.’
This year is very special for Sewerby Hall and Gardens and will see the house celebrate its 300th birthday. In its three centuries, the house has evolved from a small Georgian villa into a resplendent country house with unrivalled sea views.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, congratulated William Birch & Sons on the work. He believes that the investment made by the council, and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of just under £1 million, will strengthen Sewerby’s reputation as ‘the jewel in the East Riding’s crown’.
He said: “The contractor has a track record of historical restoration work and has done a first-class job on the restoration of the hall.
“Thanks to prudent financial management, the council is able to invest in its assets and the money being spent on Sewerby Hall reflects its importance as a tourist attraction and heritage asset. We are looking forward to opening the hall’s doors on Saturday, 9 August and it will certainly be a must-visit for all families during the school summer holidays.”
Paul Goyea, managing director of William Birch & Sons, said: “We have been working with the project team for over 18 months now at Sewerby Hall and have gained a real appreciation of the importance of the Estate to the region. William Birch & Sons has been restoring and refurbishing buildings since 1874 and in the year Sewerby Hall celebrates its 300th birthday we celebrate our 140th year of being in business. Whilst we have some catching up to do to reach 300 years, it is fair to say that we are both very proud of the achievements to date at the Estate and we look forward to unveiling this next phase of the project later this year to mark the occasion.”
For further information about Sewerby Hall and Gardens, visit www.sewerbyhall.co.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS :
-Since 1934, Sewerby Hall has been owned by various councils and enjoyed by generations of residents and holiday makers. Between 1714 and 1936, Sewerby Hall was owned by the Greame family. This family of merchants, military men, clergy and politicians had left behind a beautiful legacy of a fine country house, elegant interiors and fifty acres of inspiring gardens and parkland on a cliff top with extensive sea views over Bridlington Bay.
– The Heritage Lottery Fund grant to the project Sewerby Access is for £949,900
– The first phase of works meant that users of the estate benefitted from a new visitor orientation area, classroom for school groups and estate office, where visitors can talk to Sewerby staff, in the newly- restored Old Laundry Block. The restored Laundry Block is now the centre of a visitor hub, which includes the Clock Tower Cafe and new toilets.