Museums at Night 2012: Meet our Ancestors, Baysgarth House Museum, Barton-upon-Humber, May 19 2012
© Baysgarth House Museum
Baysgarth House, a Grade II-listed Georgian mansion, is a year-round draw for families in Lincolnshire: set in 30 acres of parkland, the main building houses traditional period rooms from the 18th and 19th centuries full of pottery and porcelain. An adjoining old stable block doubles as an Industrial Museum, and a Craft Cottage regularly welcomes thatchers, cobblers and blacksmith.
It’s one of the most historic settings for this year’s Museums at Night, an occasion it will use to honour its origins. Guided tours of the building will encounter imposters of the men and women who lived and worked there during the past 250 years.
One of them, actor Alun Friend, of entertainers for the evening the South Bank Players, says his approach to playing Sir Henry Nelthorpe (a baronet who once lived there) revolved around appreciating the “psychological and emotional” life of the man.
“As a wealthy man, Henry was an active buyer of property in the area, with Baysgarth being his primary residence,” he reveals.
“He was a respected person within the county, becoming the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. It placed a responsibility on his shoulders which I must carry, behaving in an accordingly confident manner.”
This is clearly a serious business. A quick elocution lesson might be on the cards for anyone who comes across Nelthorpe’s fellow residents, including a World War II Red Cross nurse, 1950s grammar school pupils and members of the Victorian Taylor family, the last to live at the house before it became publically-owned in 1930.
And with the thespian passion of the players, this is going to be history brought to life in a way you can believe in.
- Runs 8pm-9.30pm. Admission is free but advance booking is essential: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01652 637568.