The Friends of Arley is an association of members which organises exclusive talks and social gatherings in Arley Hall and excursions and visits to various places of interest. All these events raise money which helps to support the heritage aspects of the Estate. Members also have the opportunity to assist the Estate directly by volunteering in the gardens and on specific projects in the Hall.
To become a Friend of Arley dowload the application form below:
Friends of Arley benefits
• Evening events in Arley Hall – either illustrated talks by interesting speakers or programmes of music followed by drinks and canapes.
• Free access – to the Gardens and dining in The Gardener’s Kitchen from 5.30pm until dusk when we hold 1st Tuesday evenings during the High season.
• Free entry to the Arley Garden Festival.
• 10% discount on tickets for daily entry only – Christmas Floral Extravaganza.
• Concessions and discounts – in the shop, the Plant Nursery and the Gardener’s Kitchen Cafe.
• Garden Parties for members only which are held from time to time in the family’s private gardens.
Opportunities of being a Friend of Arley
• The Friends Gardening Group meet once a week and work alongside the professional gardeners thus obtaining inside knowledge of how a world famous garden is maintained. This work provides a marvellous opportunity to increase your gardening skills & to make new friends.
• Every spring members of the Friends lead the extremely popular Estate & Bluebell Walks through the magnificent woods & round the Estate.
• Beautiful floral displays at the Garden Festival are created by members for all the rooms in the Hall. This is a particularly popular activity – we use some bought flowers but we also pick a lot in the Gardens so it is a marvellous opportunity to develop your artistic skills in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
• At the Garden Festival Friends also man the information point and run the very popular Plant Creche.
In addition to these regular activities there are often opportunities to take part in one-off projects. Over the last few years these have included:
• Cleaning the interesting leather-bound books in the Library.
• Making beautiful new kneelers for the Chapel to original designs based on the artistic features in the Arley Chapel.
• Clearing an attractive 19C footpath through the Big Wood.
• Moving snowdrops from the Big Wood to the Grove and Woodland Walk.
Events being held during the year
Wednesday 22nd January at 7:30pm in The Hall – From Brindley to Brazil – A brief history of Lymm from 1766 to 1966 by Alan Williams, Chairman of Lymm Heritage Centre. When James Brindley drove the Duke of Bridgewater’s canal through the heart of Lymm in 1766 it changed village life forever, opening up trade and early tourism. Exactly two hundred years later the village was briefly a centre of national attention as the base for Pele and the Brazil team during the 1966 World Cup.
This talk focuses on the fascinating trades, transport and traditions of Lymm across that two hundred year period. There will be much interest in this as it seems many people have connections with Lymm.
To book please call Patricia Hazlehurst on 0161 962 3507 or email her on [email protected] You can also pay the £10, Members or £13 Guests into our Bank. Lloyds Bank, SC: 77-48-09. Acct No: 33589768. As always there will be a Raffle, Free Drinks and “Nibbles”.
The AGM will be on Wednesday 25th March at 7pm in The Hall This is always well attended and we can update you all on the past year and what we have in store for this , as well as how much we have raised for the Estate and the good uses it was put to over the last year. This is followed by:Talk on -The Making of RHS Bridgewater – Plans and Progress” given by Marcus Chilton-Jones, Curator of RHS Bridgewater. 7:30 in the Hall.
The talk covers the site’s history, the site as discovered by the RHS in 2017, the renovation which is under way, and the future vision for the garden. It lasts for about an hour, including time for questions, and is supported by photographs on a PowerPoint presentation. Marcus will bring some leaflets about the project, which show how individuals can get involved if they would like to. I hope that by the time we will have the automated Booking System up and running although you will still be able to book under the existing system as well.
Friends of Arley 25th Anniversary Dinner. It is planned to have a celebratory Dinner in the Hall and plans are being made now for a date, Menu and format. Subject to his availability Lord Ashbrook has kindly offered to entertain us with a Talk on the goings on over the last 25 years.
Arley Garden Festival – Saturday & Sunday 27th & 28th June 2020. This is a great event and once again Friends will be manning the Plant Storage Creche and Information Tent. As usual we will need volunteers for this. More details to follow.
Heritage projects which have been financed by the Friends of Arley:
Every year the Friends of Arley raises a significant amount of money through its various events. This enables them to make grants to the Estate which have financed specific projects which are separate from the day to day maintenance of the Hall and the Estate. In recent years these projects have included:
• Purchasing a fountain for the pond in the Walled Garden in memory of Elizabeth Lady Ashbrook (in the image above)
• Repairs to some of the 18C walls in the garden
• Restoration of certain pictures in the Hall
• The refurbishment of the oak shutters in the Library and the Gallery
• Replacement of the fruit cage in the Kitchen Garden