This years Westonbirt Autumn Fair was held in support of Help for Heroes and Hope for Tomorrow. Held over three days the preview was held on the evening of Monday 24th October and the main fair was held on the 25th & 26th.
Over a 150 companies exhibited their wares which were split up throughout the ground floor of the grand house which also gave the opportunity to have a good look round one of Gloucestershire’s finest houses.
Upon arrival you entered the marquee which was situated at the buildings grand front entrance which housed over 45 stalls plus the raffle and sealed bid auction. Through to the reception and then the main hall, there were stalls laid out on both sides. Both of the main charities had stalls in the main hall. Various parts of the grand house had been transformed for this event, from the Sedgewick Room, Reading Room, Library, Drama and Green Rooms all full of stall holders. But it was from the Orangery where all the smells originated which was where all the food stalls were housed.
Once you had walked around all the stalls there was the opportunity to have a wander around the grounds of the estate. Steps lead all the way down from the upper terrace, past the 400 year old yew trees, through the lower terrace to the secluded pond. To the west was the Wishing well and a carp stocked Lake. Past the east lawn was the italian gardens with another ornate pond next to the mercury gardens.
Another hidden gem is the 14th century St. Catherines Church which is now the chapel for Westonbirt School. An amazing building with its stained glass window and alabaster effigy to Robert Holford, this church is well worth a visit.
A great thank you has to be said to the sponsors of the event such as The Oxford Wine Company, Dick Lovett Bristol and Cotswold Life to name a few. A thankyou needs to go out to all the volunteers who gave up their time for the event also and also to the Headmistress Mary Henderson for the permission and work she has done.
It was also inspiring to see that such a grand building is undergoing a dedicated Conservation Management Plan overseen by the the Holdford Trust and English Heritage.
The Holfords of Westonbirt Trust
Gloucestershire GL8 8QG