Lottery funding to explore “A Squire’s Dream”

This is an archived press release

Monday 3 July 2006

3 July 2006

Lottery funding to explore A Squire’s Dream”

Local residents are to help unveil the history of one of the most prominent buildings in the Hope Valley.

The Peak District National Park Authority, working with Castleton Historical Society, will receive £20,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a community project to chart the history of Losehill Hall through memories, pictures and letters.

The project will be called A Squire’s Dream - our heritage, your heritage” - referring to the original Squire Robert Ashton, who built the hall in 1882.

Losehill Hall is now the National Park’s Centre for Environmental Learning, used by thousands of people each year on training courses, school visits and special interest holidays.

Head of Environmental Education Richard Campen said: The Historical Society is central to the whole project: they have a wonderful archive of stories, letters and pictures relating to people who worked here and to the Squire himself. It is said he wanted to build his own ‘little Chatsworth’ in the Hope Valley - that was the dream.

We’re also going to involve other local residents, and the children of Castleton School. We want the project to help integrate the centre with the local community as a place of enjoyment and learning.”

Geoff Hill MBE, spokesman for Castleton Historical Society, said: We’re pleased that the Society has been involved in the bid for Heritage Lottery funding - it will enable the village and the Hall to present a new interpretation of the grounds for the future.

It will also co-ordinate information-gathering, making sure there’s no duplication of publications.”

The project will lead to an exhibition and possibly an audio-trail to enrich visits for residents and visitors.

Squire Ashton, who inherited lead-mining wealth and had businesses in Sheffield, favoured a Tudor-Gothic style popular in Victorian times, setting the hall in 27 acres of parkland, taking advantage of the spectacular scenery that surrounds it.

He died childless and it was passed on as a private home, mainly of the Chadburn family, until the 1950s, when it was taken over by Co-operative Youth Centres. The National Park Authority bought it in 1961 and Princess Anne officially opened Losehill Hall as the National Park’s study centre in 1972.

This is an archived press release

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