Friends of St Edmund’s Church, Sedgefield, were this week given a graphic insight into the restoration challenges facing owners of historic buildings when they visited Brancepeth Castle, one of the oldest castles in the North of England.
Two members of the family who own the castle, Alison Hobbs and Oliver Dobson, led internal and external tours of the ancient building and explained some of the painstaking work now being undertaken to restore the castle to its former glory. They also provided refreshments on arrival, lunch and tea at the end of the day.
Visit organisers Alison Hodgson, secretary of the Friends, and Brian Mutch, membership secretary, described the visit as “one of the most interesting we have made in recent times” and “a really delightful experience”.
During the day, the Friends also visited nearby St Brandon’s Church (pictured) to discover how it had been restored after a disastrous fire and was now regarded by many as one of the most beautiful churches in the region. An explanation of the rebuilding project was given by Bookings Administrator Jean Hodgson.
Alison, Oliver and Jean were thanked by Ron Eyley, Chairman of the Friends.
The next social trip on the Friends’ agenda will be to Ushaw Hall on Tuesday, June 4th, for a conducted tour of the college which has been described as ‘a hidden gem of the North’. It will include an opportunity to explore the rhododendron gardens and listen to a short recital by Sedgefield organist Jonathan Clegg.
The cost (£25) includes welcome refreshments, a buffet lunch, guided tour and entrance fee of £5.00 (the fee can be converted into an annual pass if requested in advance of the visit).
Reservations can be made by contacting Brian Mutch (01740 622302), Alison Hodgson (01740 620912) or Anne Eyley (01740 645854).
Article courtesy of Ron Eyley
Page added 4th May 2019