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Enfield's biggest housewarming

Published Friday, 15 June 2012

Forty Hall is throwing open its doors to the public after a multi-million pound refurbishment.

Forty Hall refurbishment

Forty Hall and Estate, voted one of the 33 iconic images for London 2012 in a LOCOG poll of Londoners, is holding its grand reopening on 30 June and 1 July with two days of dancing, costumed tours and exhibitions for residents and Games visitors to enjoy.

Forty Hall, originally built in 1632 for Sir Nicholas Rainton, the former Lord Mayor of London, has recently finished a one and a half year refurbishment project funded by Enfield Council, who are contributing over £4 million and the Heritage Lottery Fund, who are contributing just under £2 million.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Doug Taylor, said: “Forty Hall is a truly special place, not just for Enfield but for all of London. With the generous financial support and guidance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have been able to restore the building to a superb standard. We look forward to welcoming visitors from both the local area and abroad to enjoy this jewel in Enfield’s crown.

“We want Forty Hall to be a major resource for schools to use for learning outside of the classroom, businesses to hire for events and conferences, families to use for weddings and celebrations. It will serve Enfield well for years to come.

”Generations of people in Enfield have enjoyed Forty Hall and this extensive refurbishment work means thousands more will be able to enjoy the fabulous gardens, the stunning interior and learn more about an integral part of this borough's rich and chequered history."

Wesley Kerr, Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the London Committee said: “The architectural beauty of Forty Hall, its setting amidst pleasure gardens, ancient royal parkland, majestic trees, lakes and watercourses, makes it one of the most important and perfectly situated houses in England. The people of Enfield are fortunate to own it. Such places matter a great deal; they show us what happened here before we arrived, where we as a people have come from, and give focus for community activities and learning, recreation and aesthetic enjoyment.

“It's one of three important historic house openings in London this summer – Honeywood Museum and the William Morris Gallery being the others. Outer boroughs are blessed to have such historic gems on their doorstep. We are very proud to have invested £2million to help restore Forty Hall for countless people to enjoy for generations to come and we look forward to the restoration and improvement of the park through another HLF award of £1.8 million.”

The refurbishment sees the rooms returning to their original Jacobean alignments and the 17th and 18th century interiors painstakingly brought back into vivid detail. The house has been made fully accessible for the first time with the addition of a lift.

As well as the physical refurbishment of the architecture and interiors, an exciting programme of new activities is being introduced so that families can experience the hall in a unique way and to encourage people to learn more about the area's rich and vibrant history. Focusing on the themes of Art, Ecology and Heritage, activities include creative workshops, informative talks, archaeological digs, artist residences, and music and theatrical performances.

Inspired by the Hall’s first resident, Sir Nicholas Rainton, a self-made man who started as an apprentice and worked his way up to become Lord Mayor of London,  Forty Hall & Estate is working with young people and older people to help them follow in his footsteps by getting them into work and training.  

Opportunities for skills improvement are being offered through work placements, training, apprenticeships, and volunteering in a variety of roles ranging from web & media, to creative workshops and events.

Schools and colleges are invited to use the Hall for learning outside the classroom with a special education curriculum.

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