Brodsworth Hall to remember First World War

Brosdworth Hall
Brosdworth Hall
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Historic Brodsworth Hall is set to re-open its doors for the new season - and will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War with a series of events.

In the centenary year of the outbreak of the conflict, Brodsworth Hall & Gardens introduces a new series of events to its Duty Calls exhibition, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which saw such interest throughout the past year.

Discover how the people who lived and worked at Brodsworth were affected by both world wars. This year the focus is on their experiences in the First World War, with a full series of interactive and engaging events throughout Spring and Summer.

Many young men left their jobs in Brodsworth’s household, gardens and estate to serve in the First World War, some never to return. Amongst them was Gardener John Smeaton, who joined the local regiment, the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

A memorial plaque, or ‘Death Penny’ sent after his death to his family, together with a letter from King George V, have been lent to the exhibition this year.

Over a million bronze plaques were sent from 1919 to the 1930s to the families of those whose death was attributed directly to service the Great War and yet these ‘pennies’ are not common today, and rarely survive together with their scroll and letter like this group.

The exhibition and events, with actors bringing Brodsworth’s characters and stories to life, also reveal how the home community was affected by these absences and the pressures of wartime, whilst families and loved ones continued to support the war effort and servicemen abroad.

Comments Caroline Carr-Whitworth, English Heritage Curator: “We have discovered many moving and fascinating stories about the First World War, and through research into military records, estate archives and family histories,, we have been able to learn so much more about what happened to the people who feature in many of the photographs that we have here at Brodsworth.”

“This year we are highlighting new stories through our events, including the way women’s lives and roles changed dramatically during this time, and we look forward to sharing these with our visitors.”

All events tie in with the Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition inside the Hall, ‘Duty Calls: the Country House in Time of War’.

Highlight Events

Sat 3 May – Mon 5 May

Brodsworth Recruiting

Brodsworth Hall 11am – 5pm

Join the household of Brodsworth Hall to catch a glimpse of the changes afoot in 1914 as the British Army recruited. Brodsworth’s estate was very willing to hold open the jobs of young men going to do their part for the war effort, at a time when there was a belief that the boys would be back home by Christmas. A cast of actors bring to life the story of Brodsworth during the initial recruitment, while WWI soldiers will be running drills and training on Brodsworth’s lawns.

£9.70/ £8.70/ £5.80 EH Members free

Sat 24 - Mon 26 May

Brodsworth at War - Wartime Wedding

Brodsworth Hall 11am - 5pm

Charles & Constance Thellusson cordially invite you to attend the wedding of their chauffeur, George, and their cook, Martha, at Brodsworth Hall. Witness the story of the happy couple, from George’s proposal, to Martha’s preparations, while the country is at war and George prepares to leave for the front. This is a fascinating recreation of a wartime wedding, don your best hat and raise a glass to the newlyweds.

£ 11/ £10/ £7 EH Members free

Sat 21 & Sun 22 June

Brothers in Arms

Brodsworth Hall 11am – 5pm

Discover the story of Brodsworth brothers Charles and Stuart. See the contrast between the serving man, Charles, and Stuart the distinguished flying hero. Performers bring the fascinating relationship between the brothers to life in the setting of their home, Brodsworth Hall. Sit in the cockpit of a static biplane, which will sit proudly on the lawn throughout the weekend.

£11/ £10/ £7 EH Members free

Sat 2 Aug

Brodsworth at War - Great War Fashion

Brodsworth Hall 7.30pm - 9pm

In a special one-off evening event, English Heritage opens up the Great War wardrobe and takes a look at how fashion was transformed by the First World War. From the Society lady draped in gowns to a new breed of overall- clad women working in munitions factories, learn more about how the lives and wardrobes of these women were dramatically changed by war.

£20 EH Members £15

Sat 2 & Sun 3 Aug

Brodsworth at War - A Woman’s War

Brodsworth Hall 11am - 5pm

The role of British women and how war changed their lives is illustrated by a series of costumed interpreters. Discover how women of every status, from wealthy upper class ladies living in country estates to Land Girls who came to work on their farms, all lived under the shadow of the Great War and did, their bit for the war effort.

£9.70/ £8.70/ £5.80 EH Members free