The Mary Roxburghe Trust opened its Grade I listed medieval manor house and estate, West Horsley Place, to the local community on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September to host West Horsley Village Fete and to participate in the 2017 Heritage Open Days festival.
It was the first time in many years that the Fete had taken place at West Horsley Place and the first opportunity for members of the public to visit during the nationwide Heritage Open Days festival.
With entertainment from the Junction 4 Big Band, beautifully presented pop up tea tent, flower, arts and craft stalls and other favourites, the Fete drew in the local community and was a great success. Face painting, a dog agility course, 5K fun run, local business stalls including Silent Pool Gin and a barbeque all helped to raise funds for local charities, Cherry Trees and The Matrix Trust.
Judy Young, organiser of the West Horsley Village Fete, said, “The sun shone, the local stalls gathered, the band played and the village all turned up with dogs and scarecrows for a fabulous day of shared community. What a wonderful day we had at West Horsley Place. It was worth the months of planning.”
On Saturday and Sunday West Horsley Place was also – for the first time – open to visitors as part of the annual Heritage Open Days festival. Through guided tours, visitors discovered the extraordinary history of the Grade I listed house which dates back to the 15th century and which, in addition to a number of illustrious owners has hosted royalty – notably Henry VIII, who is known to have enjoyed a 35 course banquet in the Stone Hall.
Commenting, Clare Clinton, Operations Manager of the The Mary Roxburghe Trust said, “ We could not have wished for a better weekend. After 1000 years of private ownership our vision for West Horsley Place’s future is that it will be reborn at the heart of our local community for everyone to enjoy, whether as a theatre guest, visitor to the house or garden or as a student learning a new craft. The West Horsley Village Fete was our first opportunity to welcome everyone in – and it was a wonderful day. The response we have received to our Heritage Open Days tours has been tremendous, we had hugely positive feedback from visitors who were fascinated by the history and architecture of the house and charmed by its unique and romantic atmosphere. Testament to the great level of interest, our guided tours were fully booked. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers and to everyone who made this weekend possible.”