Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, is delighted to have received a grant of £387,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The National Lottery grant, along with £57,600 from the Country Houses Foundation and £100,000 from supporter donations, will allow the charity to restore the Manor and library collection, and to deliver a creative learning programme in local schools and across West Somerset.
Halsway Manor is a Grade II listed manor house situated at the foot of the Quantock Hills in West Somerset. It has a fascinating history dating back to the fifteenth century, with a mention of the Halsway Estate included in the Domesday Book. Since 1965 the Manor has operated as the National Centre for Folk Arts, providing opportunities for thousands of people to discover, learn about and enjoy traditional folk music, dance, song, folklore, crafts and more. It houses a nationally important collection of books, recordings and artefacts relating to English traditions.
After over fifty years of heavy use, there is essential work needed to preserve the buildings and valuable library collection. The project will repair and conserve the Manor’s historic building fabric, upgrade dated electrical and water systems and provide more efficient heating. This work will be carried out between April and August 2018 by Somerset firms Jonathan Rhind Architects and heritage building company Ellis and Co. Alongside the restoration will be a far-reaching creative learning programme working with local schools and communities to use the folk heritage of Halsway and the surrounding areas to stimulate creative workshops, residencies and new work.
Commenting on the award, Crispian Cook, Chief Executive, said, “We are thrilled to have received this grant thanks to National Lottery players, and a huge thank you goes out to all our supporters who have donated their own money to the project. This project will ensure the Manor – and its library collection – will be available for future generations to enjoy, providing opportunities for countless people to learn about our diverse folk heritage.”
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players this historic building and its fascinating collections have a secure and exciting future. Creative and community focused, this project will enable even more people to explore the centuries old story of Halsway Manor and English folklores, customs and traditions.”