2021 Open Day Season
We hope to reopen on Friday 21st May 2021 at 11am
A few of our visitors in August 2020
The Mansion is normally open to the public 11am-4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April to October. About 90% of our revenue comes during these seven months. So the enforced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic hit us hard, both financially and in other ways. Our volunteers missed the contact with the public, as did our staff who were also doing extra work.
We were fortunate to receive a grant from the Heritage Emergency Fund organised by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. On 7th August we were able to re-open to the public for self-guided tours only. Tickets had to be booked in advance on Eventbrite; unfortunately there was no opportunity for people to drop in to the Mansion 'on spec'.
Four visitors were allowed every 15mins between 11am and 3:30pm. As there is plenty of space in the Mansion and it is light and airy it was easy for everyone to observe the 2m social distancing rule. In addition, for legislation purposes the Mansion is classified as a museum, so everyone had to wear face masks. The route was marked out clearly with arrows on the walls and floor and our display boards provided information about the unique building.
At the end of the tour we had gifts and ice-creams on sale, and our caterers, Berry Blue Ltd., offered take-away refreshments outside the Mansion.
As we already had a Covid secure visiting scheme in operation, it was easy for us to take part in the 2020 heritage open days scheme on Friday 11th Sept. With 68 visitors we had our busiest day since reopening (maybe the free admission had something to do with this!) Our resident stonemasons from the Guild of St Stephen and St George put on a display in the Masons' Lodge which provided extra interest for the visitors.