Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Derbyshire Literature Festival comes to Renishaw!

In May, Renishaw Hall will be Helen Mort playing its part in the Derbyshire Literary Festival with a full weekend of special events.

On Saturday 16th May, Derbyshire Poet Laureate, Helen Mort, will be hosting a writing workshop in the Rex Whistler Room.  Tickets are £10 and include access to the gardens and museum.  Find out more and buy tickets at 

The magnificent library at Renishaw.
On Sunday 17th May, there will be the opportunity to delve into Renishaw's own literary history with a specialist Literary Hall Tour.  Renishaw's archivist, Christine Beevers will lead the tour, combining aspects of the general hall tour with a more detailed focus on the literary aspect.  Renishaw houses over 30, 000 books - more than enough to keep even the most avid reader busy - along with many fascinating letters and documents.  Renishaw also boasts the famous Literary Trio of Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell as part of it's fascinating history.

While the hall is open to the public regularly throughout the season, this is the first time the literary tour has been made open to the general public, making it an event not to be missed.   

Tickets are £16 per person and include access to the award winning gardens and the museum which gives a further  places are extremely limited, so pre-booking is advised to avoid disappointment.  Contact the events office on 01246 432310 or for more information.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Adventures in Wonderland

Curiouser and curiouser! There were unusual goings on in the garden on Easter Monday as Alice and her Wonderland friends - the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts - visited the gardens for an afternoon of fun.  The characters hosted a Mad Hatters Tea Party on the top lawn while the Queen of Hearts 'entertained' the crowds with her singing!  The cast spent hours chatting to visitors, joining them for picnics and providing many photograph opportunities against the backdrop of the beautiful gardens and Hall. All in all it made for a truly magical afternoon.

The performers were from Sutton-in-Ashfield based company Fancy Entertainment who cater for functions and parties, large and small.  Check out their Facebook page for photographs and a brilliant video of the event!

Everyone at Renishaw would like to extend warm thanks to everyone at Fancy Entertainment for putting on such a marvellous event.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

'Garden of the Year' Opens for 2015!

The stunning camellia walk
We are already one week in to the 2015 Season - it is difficult to believe where the time has gone! The season has begun in a celebratory mood as we are very proud to be announced HHA Garden of the Year 2015.  As always, the gardeners have been hard at work maintaining the gardens and making some quite dramatic changes. The daffodils are emerging and the camellias and hellebores are looking better than ever just in time for Easter weekend.  Bluebell season is almost upon us; their arrival is anticipated for the end of April.

Exciting changes have also taken place in the Visitor Centre, where we now stock a delicious range of jams, chutneys and preserves from Just Preserves in Sheffield and biscuits from Artisan Biscuits in Ashbourne.  They are definitely a hit with visitors and staff members alike! We still stock a range of honey from The Sheffield Honey Company and wine from Renishaw Hall's own vineyard along with Renishaw Hall souvenirs. Stop by the Visitor Centre for more information.

Don't be late for this very important date!

On Easter Monday, we welcome Alice in Wonderland and friends to the gardens,  which will make for a truly magical afternoon.  Alice will be around from 1pm - 3.30pm.  There is no additional charge for this event, though normal admission costs apply.  Remember to collect a free Children's Trail Map or Quiz Sheet from the Visitor Centre on your way in.

There is lots to look forward this year, from a full weekend of literary fun in May as part of Derbyshire Literary Festival including the first ever public Literary Tall and a poetry workshop with Derbyshire Poet Laureate, Helen Mort.  For information contact the Events Office on 01246 432310 or  To keep up to date with day to day goings on, follow us on Twitter  or like us on Facebook.
We look forward to welcoming you soon!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

It's Time for Coffee!

As the 2014 season nears an end, we are busy with preparations for our annual coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care next Friday, the 26th September.  The staff and volunteers - and even some of the offices in the stable block- are all busy baking cakes and the Events Office is slowly disappearing underneath a pile of all the raffle prizes which are being donated.  There are some really fantastic prizes, so make sure you buy a ticket...or ten!

Coffee and cake will be served in the stunning Entrance Hall to the house between 10.30am and 12 noon. It's all for a very worthy cause, so make sure you pop along if you can. 

Cake and coffee aside, Friday also sees the last of our Public Hall Tours for this Season.  The tours get busy, so to avoid missing out, contact the office on 01246 432310 to book your place.

The last day of opening is Sunday 28th, where we will see off the season with the Lord Conyers Morris Men dancing in and around the gardens.  They proved really popular back in May, bravely dancing on through the rain.  Lets hope they get nicer weather this time around!

We hope to see as many of you as possible!

Monday, 25 August 2014

A Summer full of fun!

Can you believe that this season is almost over already?  August is nearing an end and there are only six weeks left until we close the gates for the 2014 season.

Looking back, August has been a fantastic month.  We were incredibly lucky with the weather for  Food and Craft Fair.  The sun shone for the whole event, giving visitors - and staff- chance to peruse the stalls at leisure.  There really was something for everyone with delicious snacks with everything from samosas to cupcakes; fudge to gourmet marshmallows.  Non-food lovers were also spoilt for choice with the selection of homemade gifts from shabby chic decorations to paper crafts and woodturned products.  Alexandra and Lady Sitwell's stall selling knick knacks from the Hall proved especially popular!  It was a truly enjoyable day for all involved.

Unfortunately, the Plant Fair on the Sunday didn't fair quite as well weather-wise but that didn't put off our visitors who still flocked to the fair and the gardens, despite the typically British weather.  These plant buyers are a hardy bunch!

It isn't all over yet, though.  We still have one weekend of public weekend tours to go.

Coming up we have the last of our WW1 talks, with our archivist Christine Beevers focusing on the impact of WWI on the Sitwell family.  These talks offer an exclusive insight into the Sitwell family and into Renishaw and are an absolute must for anyone with an interest in history. 

There is also the annual Macmillan Coffee morning on Friday 26th September.  Free to enter, tea, coffee and cakes are served inside the Entrance Hall to Renishaw, making it a fun morning for all. 

Even when the gates do close on Sunday 28th September, it isn't for long as we are happy to bring back Christmas tours.  The Hall will be open to the public on Wednesdays 10th and 17th December.  Spaces are extremely limited, so booking is essential to avoid disappointment. The chance to see the Hall decorated for Christmas is not to be missed!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Tour de France comes to Renishaw

Last weekend, Tour de France fever hit Yorkshire as the race passed commenced in the county for the first time.  Never ones to miss out, we played our part in the proceedings as a Belgian TV show, Vive le VĂ©lo used Renishaw Hall as the backdrop for their filming.  The crew made quite the focal point for our visitors - and staff -  as they set up their complicated looking equipment on the Middle Lawn behind the house.

The crew set up on the Middle Lawn.

It all made for an exciting afternoon, although we do think that Renishaw probably stole the show!

That isn't all that has been happening here, as we gear up for the second of our Fair Weekends. The Food and Craft fair on the 9th August is coming together nicely with a lovely selection of stalls offering everything from cakes, gourmet marshmallows and raw chocolate to wood turned products, paper crafts and shabby chic gifts, to name a few!  The Specialist Plant Fair on Sunday 10th is also set to be as popular as ever.  We will also host a Strawberry Tea event to raise money for Breast Cancer Care on Thursday 31st July between 2pm and 4pm which should be a fun afternoon, with much planned to entertain visitors of all ages. 

Don't forget to 'follow' us on Twitter or 'like' us on Facebook to keep up to date with all of our events. 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Behind the Scenes with David Kesteven

'How many gardeners are there?' is one of the most frequently asked questions from visitors.  Our reply of 'four' is met with open-mouthed astonishment.  Here, we talk to Head Gardener, David Kesteven, to find out exactly what goes into managing gardens as expansive as the ones here at Renishaw and to discover some of the behind-the-scenes secrets.

What does your role as Head Gardener at Renishaw involve?

Coordinating people and plants; making sure everyone knows what they're doing and has what they need and that all plants are in the right place and have what they need.  I work on implementing Alexandra's plans for the garden making sure everything looks as fantastic as possible for the visitors.

What is the thing you are most proud of in the garden?

The standards of maintenance; Lady Sitwell always says, "We must have our standards".  Also, straightening up the pyramids, Dave and Paul's [Renishaw gardeners] hedges and the planting in the borders.

David, hard at work in the gardens.

What are your plans for the future of Renishaw gardens?

To keep improving the planting; breeding our own Magnolias and taming the woods all the way down to the lakes .

Do you have a favourite season?

My favourite month is May and my favourite seasons are Spring and Summer.

What are the highlights of each Season?

Winter:  snowdrops and hedges.
Spring: Daffodils, Magnolias, Bluebells
Summer:  Roses, delphiniums, borders
Autumn: Bottom terrace, dahlia.

David and the Delphiniums, which are out right now.

Finally, have you any anecdotes you would like to share?

One TV company asked me the worst thing about visitors.  I said that they had been breaking the heads off the opium poppies and afterwards they bleed and look terrible - the poppies, that is - I added, but they edited that bit out.

Enjoy David's hard work; the gardens are open 10.30am until 4.30pm, Wednesday to Sunday until the end of September.