Sunday, 24 May 2015

Time to get Crafty!

As the hectic buzz surrounding the HHA Garden of the Year Award begins to die down, we are busy as we start preparations for our Food and Craft Fair on Sunday 23rd August. The Fair is ever popular as stalls selling everything from preserves to cakes to soaps and hand-stitched items and everything in between set up in our stable-block courtyard for the day. 

This year we are hoping to top last years record number of visitors.  So far, we have a wide variety of stalls lined up including I Love Fudge (who were incredibly popular last year), lovely handmade soaps and bath products from Amara Skincare and botanical art work from Harthill based artist Emma Jane Bennett.  We will also have AllyCat designs offering facepainting and body art/glitter for the young (or older) ones.

Stalls are filling up quickly but there are still a few available.  If you - or anyone you know - are interested in joining the fun and renting a stall for the day, contact Rachael or Emma in the Events Office on 01246 432310 or email

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Exciting Times


The entrance to the plant fair.
We had a record turnout for the first of our bi-annual Plant Fairs   on    Sunday 10th May.  The sun stayed out all day and everyone had a fantastic time. Visitors were in great company; the eagle-eyed amongst them may have spotted Rob from the BBC2s Big Allotment Challenge stocking up on plants.  He live-tweeted from the event, so check out his twitter feed for some extra behind-the-scenes pictures.
Remember to mark the next Plant Fair - held on 9th August -  on your calendar!

Alexandra Hayward, David Kesteven and the
gardeners are presented with the plaque.
The Plant Fair isn't the only excitement we've had this May; on Tuesday 5th May we were presented with the HHA Garden of the Year award.  The presentation took place on the patio, looking out onto the stunning gardens and was followed with a private tour of the award winning gardens with Head Gardener, David Kesteven.  
Renishaw's own Sparkling Wine was flowing (unfortunately, not for staff) and there was a buzz of excitement in the air as the guests enjoyed a lavish celebratory lunch.  Thank you to everyone at HHA and Christies for helping to make it such a memorable day and of course to all the visitors who help to make Renishaw what it is.
The award is now displayed in the entrance to the stable courtyard, outside the Sitwell Museum, so that it can be enjoyed by all visitors to Renishaw. 
There is still plenty to look forward to here at Renishaw over the coming months, including the Lord Conyers Morris Men in and around the garden next Sunday 24th May in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.

 Photo credits:  Angela Schorah

Monday, 4 May 2015

Busy, busy, busy!

Everything has been a bit of a blur over the last few weeks as we busily prepare for a hectic and exciting few weeks.  On Tuesday we will be presented with the HHA/Christies Garden of the Year award!  We think the award is more than deserved and we can't wait to display the plaque in the gardens.  On Tuesday we will also open for the National Garden Scheme - normal admission fees apply, but all monies collected will be donated to the NGS who divide money raised between nursing and caring charities.

The selection of goods on sale in the Visitor Centre.
The Visitor Centre is undergoing something of a makeover as we expand our stock list.  We now stock Bluebells ice cream.  We have a range of tubs which are perfect as the weather warms up. Make sure you stop by the Visitor Centre  (if the staff don't eat them all first!).  Also, due to popular demand, we have expanded the range of Artisan Biscuits we offer to include snack-size packs.  To wash them down with, we also have a selection of soft drinks and bottled water.

Hot off the press: the new Guide Book!
As exciting as all of this is, the pièce de résistance is the brand new Renishaw Hall guidebook.  It looks absolutely magnificent and is now on sale after a long journey to production.  With a fascinating overview of the history of the Sitwell family and the house and gardens accompanied by wonderful photographs from the house and gardens, it makes a perfect memento of your visit whether you're a one-time tourist or a seasoned regular visitor. Don't forget to buy yours in the Visitor Centre.

Coming up next weekend on Sunday 10th May, is the first of this year's Specialist Plant Fairs which is always a busy, popular time.  Last year, despite torrential downpours, visitors flocked to buy the specialist and rare plants on offer. We've got everything crossed for a better forecast this time! Entry is £2 or free with normal garden admission.

Just a fraction of the bluebells here at Renishaw.
The bluebells are also out in force, and according to several visitors, the best ever!  Head down to our woodland area and lakes and allow your senses to be overcome with the wonderful aroma and the stunning sight of bluebells stretching as far as you can see.  We anticipate them being at their best for the next week or so, so don't miss out!

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!