Over the border: Free summer heritage open day at Grandey’s Place

Entertainment / Mon 5th Jun 2023 at 08:54am

By Henry Conway

COME and meet the extraordinary artists and makers of Grandey’s Place at the heritage craft centre’s free annual summer Open Day.

This hidden gem, located in the Hertfordshire countryside a few minutes drive from Harlow, is home to a community of some of the UK’s finest master craftspeople, specialising in areas such as stained glass making, millinery, traditional upholstery, mosaics, ceramics and much more.  

The centre will open its studios and workshops to the public on Sunday 25 June between 10am and 5pm. Free parking is available but visitors are required to reserve a parking slot in advance through the website: www.grandeysplace.co.uk

Grandey’s Place was founded in 2019 by philanthropist and retired chocolate manufacturer Clive Beecham with the goal of sustaining the UK’s crafts and heritage crafts. The centre provides its talented artists and craftspeople with affordable workspaces, giving them the platform to showcase their skills and create unique, handmade pieces. The centre is supported by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which supports excellence in craftsmanship and the Heritage Crafts Association which aims to safeguard craft skills and knowledge, keeping these practices alive for future generations. 

The craftspeople of Grandey’s Place not only produce bespoke pieces but also offer a variety of courses relating to their specialisms. This is a great way for teenagers and adults to get involved in the world of craftmanship, whether as a rewarding pastime or as a possible future career. 

One person, who took part in a course said; “I recently took part in a letter carving course run by Wayne Hart, who carved the memorial stone to actor Sir John Gielgud in Westminster Abbey.

“I was taught how to produce stone carvings beginning with simple straight lines before moving onto more complex tasks such as lettering. The course was well taught, giving me a taste of the brilliance and skill that goes into lettercarving. More details of this craft course and others will be available during the Open Day”. 

If readers are interested in the Open Day but are not able to attend, Grandey’s Place also offers a limited number of pre-booked tours on the first Wednesday of each month (except July and August). Please visit the website for more details. 

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