Northamptonshires Hidden Heritage

Northamptonshires Hidden Heritage

A young persons perspective of four museums in Northamptonshire

Evan Battison September 1st, 2010 at 11:56 pm

As a member of the Youth Forum I went on the Road Trip and have to say it was a great experience. Going to places around Northamptonshire which safeguard our county’s history to a much greater extend than some of the larger museums that young people who, while still unlikely, have a greater chance of visiting.

The first place we visited, the courthouse in Oundle, was very interesting as they had exhibits on the history of Oundle going all the way back to the romans which I found astonishing. I also found out that the last prisoner held at the courthouse was accused of stealing christmas trees. I found it hilarious! It was great fun to have a go at wearing Georgian clothes aswell! I thought that it had a really cosy feel and find it a shame that it is in Oundle as it is unlikely that many people will travel from Northampton to see it.

Next up was Probendal Manor, the oldest house in Northamptonshire, which I will admit I had never heard of. However, I was pleasantly surprised as I was able to wear chainmail and see examples of historical clothes and weapons (vintage!). I found it very interesting how the Manor had been visited by King Canute and also how large the house actually is. However, it is actually somebody’s home which gave it a very warm feel and again it is just sad that it isn’t very well known.

Our next stop was at the Carpetbagger Museum at Harrington, the site of the WW2 airfield where agents and supplies were flown to occupied Europe. We looked around the control room and saw a US military video that detailed how the base operated which was very interesting as it showed some of the rooms around us and that brought with it a great sense of history. Unfortunately, only a small part of the base is preserved and it is a real shame that we only see a small fraction of the site as it is the sort of thing that would captivate young people.

Our final visit was to Kelmarsh Hall, probably the most well known of our stops. I found it interesting as it was part stately home with its extravagent detail and swarthes of land and part modern art gallery. Personally, I found the later aspect most appealing as it showcased very interesting art as well as some that seemed to me to be just IKEA-esque furniture! However, I did enjoy the history of the place and I would like to go again to take more of Kelmarsh Hall.

Overall, I found the day really exciting as I discovered four hidden gems in the county that I wasn’t already aware of. I hope to go to them again as all had so much detail that it was impossible to take it all in on first visit. I also enjoyed the trip as I had the opportunity to do alot of filming of the various museums; altogether found it an awesome experience that not be easily forgotten and one I would love to do again!




    Mandeep September 7th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    It sounds like it was a brilliant day, very interesting. Looking forward to seeing some of the films!


    Jane Baile September 7th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    We really enjoyed the visit from the young people, it was great fun. I am looking forward to seeing the films and to see the facebook page which they will also be setting up.

    This project has been a really good way of getting young people to visit sites that they would not normally consider visiting.


    Anna Starkey September 7th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Sounds like a really good mix of museums, Probendal Manor sounds great, i might have to pay it a visit.


    Linda Ruffle September 7th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    This sounds like an awesome trip – discovering


    Jane Seddon September 7th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Thank you Anna, I must update the blog to read Prebendal Manor not Probendal.


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The Northamptonshire Museums and Historic Houses Forum has existed since 2002 and provides its many members of museums, heritage attractions and historic houses with a friendly network of support.