Arlington Court celebrates 60 years as National Trust

A month of celebrations kick of at Arlington Court next weekend as the estate marks its 60th anniversary as a National Trust property. On Saturday, September 5 the annual Arlington Flower Festival and a new art exhibition will both herald the start of a m

A month of celebrations kick of at Arlington Court next weekend as the estate marks its 60th anniversary as a National Trust property.

On Saturday, September 5 the annual Arlington Flower Festival and a new art exhibition will both herald the start of a month of commemorative events since Miss Rosalie Chichester left the estate to the trust in 1949.

The Flower Festival will be a collection of fantastic floral displays assembled by volunteer and retired expert florist Jenny Dellow, with her team of volunteer helpers. Their creations will feature all the elements of Arlington, from the bats in the attics to the diverse collections in the house, in an original and sometimes quirky way!

Those arriving on the first day of the festival, next Saturday, will be able to see the team putting the final touches to their work and chat to them to find out more about flower arranging.


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The art exhibition will be housed in the Carriage Collection and features a series of oil paintings by local artists Tim Saunders and Susan Plummer, whose work has been inspired by both the gardens at the Court and the Flower Festival.

Both exhibited at Arlington during the Art Trek in June and were so enthused by their surroundings that between them they have created 20 paintings.

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Tim was inspired by many of the elements at Arlington and his rich paintings include views of the gardens and the horse and carriage. He has even captured one of the peacocks in oils. Susan found her muse in the walled kitchen garden when the sun, unusually, came out from behind a cloud and illuminated some marigolds lining the edges of the path, making them unusually vibrant.

The exhibition ends on October 25 and will be changed regularly, with paintings available to purchase.

"There could be no more fitting a tribute to lady like Miss Rosalie Chichester, who enjoyed entering flower arranging competitions and painting with her companion, Miss Chrissie Peters, herself an excellent water colour painter," said Michelle Fullard, visitor services manager.

"The trust was very lucky to be bequeathed such a beautiful, varied and unique property as Arlington Court and estate."

Visitors can meet the artists on Sunday, September 27 as part of Arlington Court's 1949 Day. On this day staff will be dressing in 1949 style clothes for a "best dressed" competition and inviting visitors to do the same.

They will also be able to spend ration tokens in the tearoom, see displays of vintage cars and tractors, costumes and 1949 memorabilia.

Plus, if your name is Rosalie, entry to the property is free on that day!

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