At the end of November 2021 a few members of the SoFA Committee attended Rufford Old Hall to decorate a Christmas tree. The theme for the Christmas trees this year was the 1920s. This is a photograph of the tree we dressed, the image was very kindly sent to us by Catherine Hazley of the National Trust. Catherine informed us that they have received some lovely comments about it and that it really provides a beautiful welcome as visitors enter the house. She has also asked that her thanks be passed on to all involved and wished all SoFA members a very happy festive season.
Our Vice Chair visited Rufford again the other day, she said that the tree looked even nicer in daylight with a bit of sunshine coming through the windows.
The dining room tree was very nice. The biggest tree is in the great hall, with the open fire the hall looked seasonal, with the greenery from the estate decorating the table. We are informed that the tree in the hall on the ground floor was decorated by the Ribble Valley group.
If you would like to see the SoFA Christmas Tree at Rufford Old Hall and all of the others they have there, make sure you visit very soon.
This year Rufford Old Hall closes on Sunday 19 December. Please check for 2022 opening date on the Rufford Old Hall website.
If you are interested in becoming a member of our Association, please complete our contact form.
The Garden At Rufford Old Hall Talk By David Roberts
At our meeting on 9 November members explored the garden at Rufford Old Hall guided by our speaker, David Roberts. David has been responsible for the gardens for over twenty years. Throughout the lockdown he worked alone in tending the grounds and pathways and gladly welcomed back the team of Trust volunteers when it was safe to do so.
Members were lead in a series of overheads through a brief history of the property up to when the Hesketh family removed to their property in Northamptonshire and the National Trust became involved.
Unlike a great number of old properties within The Trust’s portfolio, there are few historical papers or plans about the garden. David has successfully relied on old family photographs as part of the redesign work.
His talk took us through the woodland area with its autumn colours, especially the autumn crocuses, and describing the work to encourage bird life there and in the north paddock. The pictures then moved along the squirrel border giving views of the south range of the house and the two giant green squirrel-shaped topiary. Other topiary displayed along the north lawn added to its attraction.
David recommended a peaceful stroll along the beech walk paddock with the Leeds-Liverpool canal alongside. We learned some of the history and detail of the orchard where he referenced some documentation from the Hall. In 1779, this area of land was leased to a gardener called Thomas Lowe who worked it for 21 years. Through his pictures of apple and pear trees we learned about fruit names including Keswick Codlin, Duke of Devonshire, Lemon Pippin and Bramleys seedling.
David was thanked for his efforts to maintain the gardens for our pleasure and enjoyment. The care taken in restoring structures using authentic building materials was appreciated. As a result of the presentation and questioning, members agreed to fund the purchase of a suitable leaf blower for use around the property.
Our next speaker meeting is on Tuesday is on Tuesday 14 December 2021 at 14:15 The Star of Bethlehem – Dr S Barrett, if you would like to come along as a guest or would like to become a member of our association, please click here for our contact form.
To help make your visit safe and comfortable, the National Trust have introduced a one way system at Rufford Old Hall. You can see the path the route takes through the property on the map below. You should note that you are not restricted to a single tour around the route.
An important aim of our Association is to support the work of the National Trust. We are fortunate to have involvement in a number of local National Trust properties. We are in contact with other National Trust properties in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire areas. These arrangements enable us to keep up to date with their news and developments. The information is used by the members to decide how to allocate funds on current projects.
SoFA has supported various local National Trust properties over the years. With the help of our members, we have donated money to these properties that has allowed them to make essential renovations.
Click on the links below to see more information on the local properties we support.