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Historic Buildings, Parks and Gardens Event 2022

The Historic Buildings, Parks and Gardens Event 2022 took place on Tuesday the 15th November at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster.   Along with members of Historic Houses the event was attended by representatives from many specialist organisations including, the Gardens Trust, County Gardens Trusts, The Victorian Society, Professional Gardeners Guild and the National Trust.

It was the 49th Annual General Meeting for Historic House members with Martha Cobbald, the Historic Houses President (Knebworth House Estate MD) in the chair and the meeting completed in 35 minutes. The following the Guest Speaker, Rene Olivieri, Chair, National Trust commented on the compact AGM time and asked for guidance before he spoke on the changes embracing the NT following the pandemic.

The event included a large specialist exhibition of suppliers, a range of workshops, a programme of speakers plus the Historic Houses Awards and The Savills Lecture, always a highlight

Wentworth Woodhouse. HH Award

The Garden of the Year Award 2022 went to Wentworth Woodhouse, in South Yorkshire, sponsored by Christie’s.

This prestigious national award, presented annually since 1984, is designed to recognise the importance of some of the country’s most spectacular gardens with outstanding horticultural and public appeal. The award is voted for by members of the public who judge the gardens based on a variety of factors that contribute to their enjoyment.

Under the ownership of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust since 2017, the 82-acre private gardens at the Grade I-listed stately home in Rotherham have become multi-tasking, all-embracing spaces beloved by the public. In 2020 they were fully opened for the first time, offering locals tranquil and beautiful spaces in the pandemic. They remain open five days a week and are a haven, a natural playground, the scene of cultural events, and places of learning for people of all abilities.

A key feature of the gardens is accessibility. In 2021, historic garden paths were rediscovered and renovated, enabling all ages and abilities to enjoy the varied landscape, and two book-in-advance garden cabins were bought to provide homes-from-home for day visitors, especially those with mobility issues or special needs.

The Judges Choice for 2022 went to  Upton Wold,  the elegant garden set in a beautifully hidden Cotswold landscape, with its herbaceous borders, pond garden and fountains particularly impressing the judges. Despite being hard hit by drought in 2022, the garden is already bouncing back and will reopen to the public in 2023.

Savills Lecture: Hopwood DePree of Hopwood Hall

The afternoon Savills lecture featured Hopwood DePree of Hopwood Hall. Hopwood DePree is an American actor, author, comedian, filmmaker, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Having researched his family tree he learnt that there was an ancestral home of the Hopwood family of Hopwood Hall at Middleton, Greater Manchester, England.  In order to save his family seat he moved from Hollywood to renovate and restore the dilapidated 600-year-old ancestral hall.  This talk was about the process of renovation, the challenges, the often humorous and the inspiring actions of others. As his background and experience dictates he has used YouTube to showcase the renovation work ( or @HopwoodXIV). He has also published a best-selling chronicle of his adventures Downton Shabby In five years the roof is now secure, windows restored and in and the brickwork being pointed. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next five years.


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