Arley Hall & Gardens

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Disney film at Arley Hall
The Alcove at Arley Hall & Gardens The Walled Garden Fountain at Arley Hall & Gardens The Rootery at Arley Hall & Gardens

Disney Channel Filming at Arley

Disney Channel to make first UK production and its chosen Arley as its location.

Evermoor, about an American teen who is uprooted from her city home in the US for a new start in England, will be filmed at Arley Hall. It will be produced by Liverpool-based Lime Pictures, the company behind Hollyoaks and The Only Way is Essex. Due to air this autumn, it will be the first UK production to be shown on the Disney Channel.

Billed as a mystery adventure, the film will see 14-year-old Tara Bailey move into beautiful but spooky Evermoor Manor, where she discovers a magical tapestry which seemingly predicts the future. The project has been described as a "multi-part movie", but Lime Pictures' head of drama, Rebecca Hodgson, told the BBC News website it could either be screened as a single film, or as a four half-hour series.

She added the film had both a "British and American sensibility", although there had been "a dialogue polish to make sure we get certain words right". Filming is planned to start at Arley Hall at the end of April. Hodgson said the Victorian house - which has previously featured in programmes including Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and The Forsyte Saga - was chosen after an extensive location scouting in north-west England. "We were looking for a really interesting old house which had to be inviting enough that you would want to go in, but might have a little bit of a sinister side to it as well," she said. Casting has yet to be finalised, although Hodgson said producers were open as to whether the actress playing the heroine is from the UK or the US. Disney Channel films have a good track record of becoming worldwide hits and creating stars such as Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Demi Lovato from musical movies High School Musical and Camp Rock. Evermoor is not expected to feature any musical numbers however. "There's no singing, but there is quite a lot of comedy - it's very funny," Hodgson said. The Disney Channel's David Levine said: "Evermoor is a hugely exciting project for the team with a gripping story that I'm sure will captivate our global Disney Channel audience."

Stunning Sculptures in The Grove

3 March 2014

A selection of artists, local where possible, were asked to exhibit a range of artwork within the informal gardens of the Grove at Arley. The artists were invited to visit the woodland garden and take inspiration from their surroundings and produce pieces of artwork within their artforms. The various pieces of artwork are now installed in the Grove and visitors are invited to visit and study the artwork and find inspiration and opinion.

All art is subjective, but it is hoped that the pieces will stimulate debate amongst visual art enthusiasts, whilst for others, provide the opportunity to appreciate and engage with the beauty and skill of the pieces installed the Grove by these craftsmen, for this special exhibition.

The purpose of the project is to enhance the visitor experience. In contrast to the formal gardens at Arley, the Grove provides a complementary experience for all visitors amongst the wide ranging collection of colourful flowering shrubs and exotic trees. The project will provide a stunning backdrop for artists to exhibit their work.

A location map is available for each visitor on arrival, describing each piece and showing its location in The Grove.

These exclusive sculptures can be purchased by visitors via the Arley Gift Shop and contact details of each artist is also available for commissioning of further work.

A Big Thank You from Cara As She Takes Gifts To Gambia

17 February 2014

Arley supported Cara Ravenscroft by donating the money raised over Christmas from tickets sold for the Christmas cake towards here charity based support for a school in The Gambia. Cara will be volunteering in a school called ‘Mary’s Little Lamb’s’, which a charity based school, providing education to children who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to go to school (as in The Gambia education has to be paid for). The children are aged between 2-8 years old and are amongst some of the poorest children in the area. Without help, Cara wouldn’t have been able to buy and take over the amount of toys, books and games that we are so, thank you!

This is what she bought with some of the money donated:
• 40 skipping ropes - £60
• 56 footballs - £135
• 24 smiley face light up balls - £24
• 5 double metal pencil sharpeners - £3
• 2 pads of 100 pages sugar paper- £2
• 4 ball pumps - £12
• Pencils/pens/felt tips - £10
• 5 packs of soap - £5
• 60 toothbrushes - £6
• 300 lollipops - £8.50
• 80 bags of Haribo - £6
• 2 packs of floor chalk - £3.50
• 2 spikey light up balls - £3
• 600 stickers - £4
• 10 Pritt glue sticks - £20

The rest of the money that was donated, she is taking over to the Gambia on the 16th February, where the money is going to buy a climbing frame for the school. The school have been trying to raise money for this for a long time but it costs in excess of £250 so this has been a slow process. The founder of the school Linsong Bah is really excited for Caras visit and Cara is going with her to buy the climbing frame on Monday. As the school is a charitable school, the rest of the money donated will be put to good use by them; she will let us know on her return what was bought!

8 sacks of donations have already left the UK and are now being stored in Banjul. The rest of the goodies will be travelling with Cara on the 16th (5 large suitcases and 2 big boxes)!

The charitable gifts that Cara is taking really will make a difference and leave a lasting impression on the children and school.

The Reindeer Arrive At Arley

22 November 2013

Wooden Christmas reindeer, made by Stuart Forster of the Arley Estate, will be on sale during our Christmas opening from Sat 30 November - Friday 6 December. Open daily 11 - 5 entry is £7.50, see The Hall stunningly decorated with fresh flowers by local florist and college. Or visit on an evening 6-9 and see The Hall lit by candlelight and with choirs singing £8. Carl Wilde will be giving 2 floral demonstrations on Wed 4 December at 2pm and 7.30pm £12.50 including entry into The Hall.

Willow Dragonfly At Arley

29 August 2013

A stunning Dragonfly made from Willow can now been seen by visitors in the Laundry Pit by the picnic area. Created by Juliette Hamilton who regularly runs willow weaving courses at Arley the dragonfly is an dramatic addition to the Gardens.

Raffald recipes back on menu after 250 years

9 April 2013

RECIPES written by the 18th century’s domestic goddess are to be recreated at the country home where she learnt her trade.

Visitors to Arley Hall and Gardens in Cheshire will be able to sample the culinary delights of Elizabeth Raffald – the Delia Smith of her time – in Arley’s Tudor Barn Restaurant this summer.

Steve Hamilton, General Manager at Arley, said the estate near Knutsford was determined to pay tribute to the author of The Experienced English Housekeeper, which was one of the first cookbooks and a big hit when it was published in the 1700s.

“Elizabeth Raffald is a huge character in Arley’s history and it is only right that we mark her contribution to the estate’s past,” he said.

“There are a few recipes that we will steer clear of – such as those for turtle and calf’s foot pudding – but there are definitely some traditional meals that visitors are going to love.” Raffald was the housekeeper at Arley Hall for several years in the 1760s where she served Lady Elizabeth Warburton, to whom the book is dedicated.

It is believed The Experienced English Housekeeper went through 13 authorised editions and at least 23 pirated ones. In 1773, she sold the copyright to her publisher for £1,400 – about £200,000 today. It contains 800 original recipes and is split into three parts – the first being dedicated to browning, soups, fish, plain meat, game, pies and puddings.

The second covers confectionary and includes ‘directions to set out a table in the most elegant manner and in the modern taste.’ She goes on to explain the finer details of pickling, potting and distilling in the final section. Raffald makes it clear to readers that her recipes are written ‘purely from practice’ and in plain English ‘so as to be understood by the weakest capacity’.

In a note to Lady Elizabeth Warburton she said: “I am not vain enough to propose adding anything to the experienced housekeeper, but hope these recipes may be of use to young persons who are willing to improve themselves.” After marrying Arley’s head gardener, Raffald moved to Manchester where, over the next 18 years, she reportedly ran two pubs, two coffee shops, an indoor and outdoor catering business and an agency supplying domestic staff.

The Tudor Barn Restaurant will now be dedicated to her memory with recipes on the menu and history boards detailing her links to the estate. Raffald’s old food lists and receipts are also available on a new website

New General Manager at Arley

29 January 2013

Arley Hall & Gardens has waved goodbye to Garry Fortune and welcomed a new face to the estate, Steve Hamilton.

Garry, 37, is taking over the role of North West General Manager for the Jockey Club and will manage Aintree and Haydock racecourses. Replacing him as General Manager at Arley is Steve Hamilton who has previously worked at the Trentham Estate and Barbican Art Centre. “I wish Steve the best of luck and I am sure he is going to enjoy working at Arley Hall,” said Garry. “It’s very difficult finding a job that you love, but I have loved coming to work at Arley.”

Garry started at Arley in 2008 having worked as operations director at West Tower Group. He was chosen after a long interview process and faced a daily round trip 100 miles from his home in Southport. “I’ll never forget the injury-prone staff,” said Garry. “I have had one person cut off their top lip, another catapulted 20ft into a ditch and someone else managed to run themselves over with a van. “It’s the team and Lord and Lady Ashbrook that I am going to miss the most. They are more than just colleagues and I hope to stay in touch with everyone.”

Steve has left a job as National Operations Manager for Clarenco LLP – a group of companies with a property portfolio valued at more than £70 million – to run Arley Hall and Gardens. He was immediately struck by Arley’s sense of family during a visit with his wife, Stephanie, and four-year-old daughter Freya, just before Christmas. “My daughter was jumping in the small puddles which had iced over and before we even got to the entrance she said to me that she loved this place and asked if we could live here,” he said. “I guess becoming the new GM was the next best thing.” Steve, a ‘young’ 42, hopes to build Arley as a brand while maintaining the values of Lord and Lady Ashbrook. “I believe in not fixing things that aren’t broken and there’s very little broken at Arley Hall, so I will concentrate on enhancing the solid foundations put in place by Garry,” he said. “I want Arley Hall to become a showcase for local talent, local produce and local pride.”

Arley Spring Newsletter

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Arley News

Lord Ashbrook Lectures in America - "In March 2012 My wife Zoe and I visited the United States with a view to my giving a lecture on Arley Hall and its gardens. The invitation to do this came from an old friend, P.Allen Smith, of Little Rock, Arkansas. Allen is a distinguished garden designer and host of television programmes in the USA.

I gave the lecture at three different locations – First, at the Winterthur Museum, Delaware, then at the Clinton School of Public administration, part of the Clinton Library, Little Rock – and finally at the Carriage House Restaurant, Natchez, Miississippi."

The video below was made of the lecture given at Little Rock.

Michael Ashbrook

Click the link below to watch the lecture.