December 6 2013 Latest news:
Celebrating the first birthday of St Annes Arts & Community Centre are the Mayor of Barnstaple, Councillor Lesley Brown (centre) joined by centre manager Dion Sears (right) plus costumed town council staff and volunteers.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Victorian spectacular as 14th century Barnstaple chapel celebrates its first year as St Annes’ Arts and Community Centre.
A historic Barnstaple building has celebrated its first birthday in true Victorian style.
The 14th century St Anne’s Arts and Community Centre began a new chapter in its history a year ago when it reopened following extensive refurbishment.
Led by Barnstaple Town Council, the £249,000 restoration project was carried out with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus the town and Devon County councils.
Always a feature of the town centre, since then the 700-year-old building has been brought into full community use, with a busy programme of events including arts, drama, music and workshops.
The former chapel has served the town as a chantry, grammar school, Huguenot chapel and museum.
On Friday, all were invited to join the Mayor, Councillor Lesley Brown and guests including Barnstaple County Councillor Brian Greenslade for a Victorian spectacular of illusion, amusement and marvels.
Conjurer Sir Foxley was on hand to dazzle with his magical skills, as was the ‘Pinhole Peddler’ Sam White, who had brought his Camera Obscura along to reveal the mysteries of Victorian photography.
There was live music, juggling and tricks from Nathaniel Howell the Victorian Gentleman plus art and craft activities for children inside the chapel.
The evening saw a talk from Sam about the Victorian fascination with the ‘camera obscura’ followed by lived music with the monthly First Friday session featuring local musicians.
Anyone wishing to book St Anne’s for events or find out more can email email@example.com or call 01271 373311.