The Yorkshire Country House Partnership (YCHP), a consortium of Yorkshire’s major historic houses, are celebrating their success in winning one of the prestigious 2015 Hudson’s Heritage Awards at a glittering Awards ceremony, held on 3 March in the sumptuous setting of Goldsmith’s Hall in London.
YCHP won the award for the ‘Best World War 1 Event’ for Duty Calls: The Country House in Time of War, a series of exhibitions and events at nine historic houses across Yorkshire throughout 2013 and 2014, marking the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Duty Calls: The Country House in Time of War was the latest in a series of collaborative projects by Yorkshire Country House Partnership, and looked at the impact of various conflicts on nine of Yorkshire’s major country houses, and the experiences of their occupants and wider communities, from the points of view of owners, servants, tenants and estate workers. Duty Calls exhibitions started in 2013 and ran throughout 2014.
The participating houses were: Beningbrough Hall (NT property, near York); Brodsworth Hall (EH property, Doncaster); Fairfax Hall (York); Castle Howard (York); Kiplin Hall (Richmond); Lotherton Hall (LCC property, Leeds); Newby Hall (Ripon); Nostell Priory (NT property, Wakefield); and Sewerby Hall (ERYCC, Bridlington). The Duty Calls programme at a number of the properties was generously supported by Heritage Lottery Fund grants.
Over 1.5 million visited the Duty Calls exhibitions and events across the 2 year period, with extensive participation by local communities, schools and volunteers in devising, as well as participating, in the exhibitions and events. Duty Calls dramatically improved ‘visitor enjoyment’ ratings, and visitors found it extremely powerful, poignant…and gave a personal dimension to their understanding and appreciation of the houses, and their varied histories.
Hudsons Heritage Awards
Established in 2011, the awards are an independently judged annual national scheme open to historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites and celebrate the very best visitor experiences.
Dan Snow, historian and broadcaster, presented the awards at Goldsmiths Hall in London with around 100 guests including owners and managers of the winning entries, representatives of the heritage tourist industry and the media. The lunch was hosted by an independent judging panel of heritage experts including Chairman Norman Hudson OBE, heritage consultant; Lucinda Lambton, writer and broadcaster; Jeremy Musson, architectural writer; Simon Foster, consultant to Channel 4’s Country House Rescue and Ken Robinson, CBE, tourism business consultant. The sponsors were accountancy and investment management group, Smith & Williamson.
Sarah Greenwood, publisher of market leading guide, Hudson’s Historic Houses & Gardens said “We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2015 Hudson’s Heritage Awards today. All our winners offer their visitors fantastic experiences and Hudson’s are immensely proud to be involved with a scheme that rewards and recognizes the very best heritage attractions.”
Dr Chris Ridgway, Curator at Castle Howard and Chair of YCHP said: “We are delighted to have won a 2015 Hudson’s Heritage Award. Winning one of these awards demonstrates the high standards and commitment we offer our visitors to ensure their experience is the very best. Receiving this award is acknowledgement and recognition of the value of working together in partnership with colleagues in other Yorkshire historic houses. The collaboration provides enhanced experiences for our visitors, placing YCHP houses among the elite of heritage attractions in the UK.”
For more information about Hudson’s Heritage Awards visit :