Hello and welcome!

Hi! I am Jodie Lees, Creative Programme Manager at Sudbury Hall and The Museum of Childhood. Welcome to the Children’s Country House Blog where I will be taking you through the journey of developing, discovering and delivering the Children’s Country House. This blog will be a space for us to share our activity over the next few years and in particular our learning from this process too. We will share regular updates on the project and how you can get involved too. Be sure to subscribe and as always get in touch – we would love to hear from you with your thoughts, reflections and ideas. I look forward to getting to know you all!

Published by jodieleessudbury

Creative Programme Manager at Sudbury Hall and The Museum of Childhood

18 thoughts on “Hello and welcome!

  1. This sounds like an amazing idea πŸ™‚ I remember going when I was a child and loved it (while ago now haha) … but am absolutely terrified to bring my very very… Very energetic enthusiastic curious 3 year old boy πŸ˜‚ He loves going to museums and such… Especially where he can interact and learn with the exhibits πŸ™‚

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  2. This is an inspired idea. In the 1980s I was a consultant on a project for the NT in NSW Australia. They had a restored townhouse on The Rocks area of Sydney & they were thinking of how to develop a museum of childhood. I suggested a hands on fully accessible historic house for children – attics, cellars, reproduction furniture etc where everything could be touched & used. This was a bridge too far – they opted for a museum of glass cases full of historic toys which needless to say closed after a number of years. It wasn’t really for children at all! More recently I also worked on the wonderful Moat Brae in Dumfries with its Peter Pan connection & it is a wonderful place for children – full of laughter & play. I will be interested to follow this project.

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  3. I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about the idea, at the end of the day Sudbury Hall will become an entertainment for children/families. I for one won’t visit, I enjoyed marvelling at the beautiful plasterwork ceilings. Many NT properties are now geared down to entertaining the family, with eye-spy sheets for children, of which many are bored, as they have done them so many times before. NT for families is just a cheap day out if the families are NT members. What about adults members needs? My views might sound very negative, but Sudbury is a house of great beauty, not an entertainment to be developed in other ways.

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    1. Thanks for your comment James. We love admiring our beautiful plasterwork, ceilings and all of the other wonderful things we have at Sudbury too. This project is about making these things more accessible and engaging, not only to children and families, but also to a wider audience. The National Trust offers a large portfolio of properties that cater for all needs, and we’ve taken the decision, based on insight, to develop Sudbury Hall and The Museum of Childhood as an immersive heritage experience. The project will be looking to enhance the property and its features with more meaning and relevance, and sharing its beauty with more people. We hope you will come and see how we are doing this.

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  4. I agree with James, the project is just a ploy to get more families there. Sudbury has amazing ceilings, which aren’t really appreciated, children just walk through the rooms with mum & dad. Unlike it’s neighbour Calke Abbey no park for visitors. So to try and make the garden a place for all could cause over crowding and make the grounds not so enjoyable.
    I expect it’s some new general managers idea, they’ll proceed with it, try to make their mark and move on to pastures new. I for one think the balance is about right as it is. If it proceeds to another dimension I feel art lovers will stay away from Sudbury. NT are bound to be enthusiastic, but like many projects of their day, they soon become outdated and then something else will be required to get visitors in.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Ann. The project has been in the pipeline for a couple of years now with lots of development across the Whole Trust. We are pleased to get it to a point where we can trial and test what this looks and feels like. We totally agree that our amazing ceilings should receive more attention and the project is about highlighting these areas to more people. We are looking to enhance the property and its features with more meaning and relevance, and sharing its beauty with more people. The National Trust offers a large portfolio of properties that cater for all needs, and we’ve taken the decision, based on insight, to develop Sudbury Hall and The Museum of Childhood as an immersive heritage experience. We hope you will come and see how we are doing this. All areas of the visitor journey are being carefully considered to ensure everyone has an enjoyable visit.

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