Mapledurham - 50 years on
Yesterday we celebrated being open for 50 years. A small party for staff was held in the grounds to mark the occasion and also to give three long service awards. Julie Burchell, Mark Colston and Lynette Cuthbert have all worked here for over 20 years and we were therefore delighted to present them with a gift to mark the occasion. Well done all three of you - twenty years is a long time! A delicious hog roast was enjoyed by all and then this amazing cake was served. Made by the very talented Jane Starling (the miller's wife) it truly was a work of art. A shame to cut it!
APRIL 2017 50 YEARS OF OPENING TO THE PUBLIC! We are delighted to say that 2017 marks our 50th year of opening to the public. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have made their way to Mapledurham over the years and so much has happened in that time. When Mr. Eyston and his wife, Lady Anne Eyston, came there to live they were met with the huge task of restoring the estate to make it a thriving community again. The effort and dedication of them both is legendary - bit by bit they have transformed the estate to the working estate it is now with a large dairy unit, commercial and residential properties, the house and watermill opening to the public, the Archimedes screw turbine, the AD plant and much much more. So many people employed here and at our golf course and indeed in the tenanted properties on the estate. It certainly is a great achievement and we are all very proud to be have been involved. Congratulations Mr. Eyston and Lady Anne - you have made Mapledurham what it is today.
So very proud to announce that we won the Silver award at the Beautiful South Awards 2016 in the category of Sustainable Tourism and that Corry Starling won the Bronze award in the Customer Service Superstar category. Great results and we are delighted! Thank you to all the staff for their commitment and dedication - this would not be possible without every single one of you. A wonderful award ceremony was enjoyed by Lola Andrews, Julie Burchell and Lynette Cuthbert at the Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl - sparkling evening , rewarding many many people for their work in the tourism trade. Thank you too to our visitors - none of this would be possible if you didn't visit. We are looking forward to continuing to provide a quality attraction for the many many people who have visited us over the years. Lots of lovely things planned for 2017 - details will follow in due course. Again, our thanks to all staff and visitors - you make it all happen ~~ Lola Andrews
Great news! We have been short listed again for the Beautiful South Awards again this year but this time in two categories. We will be a finalist in the Sustainable Tourism category (we won Gold last year) and Corry Starling is a finalist in the Customer Service Superhero category. I guess Julie and I will have to brush off our posh frocks and toddle off to the Ageas Bowl for the presentation evening in November. Watch this space! We are delighted!
April and May 2016
Our season opened at Easter with different opening hours for this year. Having studied numbers and trends, we decided that we would not open on Saturdays this year but concentrate on Sundays and Bank Holidays. So far, this has proved to be a popular move. We were kept very busy with Mapledurham at War in April and, despite the awful wet weather, we managed another fantastic event. Following that, we were delighted with the Food and Craft Festival which we hosted over the early May Bank Holiday - great event - and one which is planned to be repeated in August. So, lots of good things to look forward to and please do keep your eye on the website for all details. We very much look forward to welcoming you to Mapledurham this summer.
January 2016 -
Much activity is taking place getting ready for the new season - tea pots being buffed, plates washed, cupboards spring cleaned. Our housekeeper, Lynette, is busy starting the annual spring clean - long ladders and fluffy dusters! We are taking lots of bookings for group visits and planning some super events for the coming year.
January had a sad day as we waved goodbye to Chris Roberts who has decided to retire. Chris has been here for many years helping out on the gardening team. Chris loves the river and can now spend more time doing what he loves to do - boating on the Thames and spending time with his lovely son and daughter. We wish you all the very best Chris, dont forget us and thank you for everything you have done in your long association with Mapledurham Estate.
December 2015 -
Fantastic news! We are delighted to announce that we won the Gold award for Sustainable Tourism at the recent Beautiful South Awards. The ceremony was held in the beautiful Grand Hotel in Brighton and Lola and Julie travelled there last week to join 300 hopeful others for various awards. Imagine our delight when we were chosen as the Gold winners! It really goes to show that we are determined to keep tourism alive and flourishing at Mapledurham. So very proud of all of our team for the efforts and dedication that make this award possible. Thank you one and all.
October 2015 ~
Wow - what a way to finish our season! We were very proud to host the Mapledurham Christmas Craft and Gift Fair (Battenburg Events) on the 31st October and the 1st November. Although the weather was a tad too warm for the snow machine to have a full effect. we were thrilled to welcome thousands of visitors through the gates all looking for Christmas ideas or to the visit the House and Watermill. The tea room was mad! Home made soup (Jo Clarke from the village) with sandwiches expertly made by our Julie Burchell, cream teas (scones from Sarah Butler from the estate) and delicious cakes also from Jo Clarke. The staff were all amazing - thank you for that! They all worked so hard to get everyone served as quickly as possible. Even the stall holders were not forgotten with bacon sandwiches before the show opened (Julie again and the lovely Pauline Semple). The guides talked to guests until they could talk no more and everyone made a huge contribution to the weekend. So, now it is time for us to close down for the winter and start preparing for next season. Please do keep an eye on the website for the various events we will be hosting. We open at Easter and Mapledurham at War will be held on the 16th and 17th April - keep an eye out for ticket sales! Thank you again to all the staff for their efforts and to all the visitors who came to see us over this season - I truly hope we can welcome you back in the future ~~ Lola Andrews
September 2015 -
Our big news is the launch of Mapledurham Community Energy. Here at Mapledurham we have a big dairy herd producing large amounts of lovely milk but also producing large amounts of not so lovely slurry. Much planning and research has been done and we have now gained all planning consents etc (and work has begun) on installing an anaerobic digester which will take all the slurry (and maize from the estate) to provide not only an excellent fertiliser but also will provide clean heat and electricity. You can read all about it at www.mapledurham-energy.org but needless to say we are delighted that this much awaited project is now very much underway. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Other news - which we also think exciting - is that we have been shortlisted for an award in the Beautiful South Awards in the category Sustainable Tourism. We know now that we will receive either Gold, Silver or Bronze in the awards. Julie and I will be donning our posh frocks in December and going to The Grand in Brighton to await our fate! Tough job - but someone has to do it!
August 2015 -
The biggest event at Mapledurham was providing some of the camping facilities for the Reading Festival. Lots of excited, eager people made their way through the estate to the camp site and car park before crossing the purpose built bridge to the actual festival. The weather wasn't kind to them and I understand some of the camping areas were a bit boggy but nonetheless everyone seems to have a very good time.
Our events programme included two caravan rallies in the country park, (a lovely river side setting where the guests can relax and watch the world go by) a small display of vintage cars and an open air performance of Robin Hood. Definitely a children's event, it was lovely see so many small people enjoying the show whilst picnicking on the lawns. . Many thanks to Cambridge Touring Theatre for another fantantasic show and we look forward to 2016.
July 2015 -
July was particularly busy for party visits with some 22 visits in one month. Our miller, Corry Starling, who conducts the guided tours has been drinking honey by the cupful to preserve his voice for the rest of the parties during the year. There is still plenty of space left in August, September and October if you are a group organiser looking for a perfect afternoon outing. Often combining with a trip on the river courtesy of Thames Rivercruise, our party visitors are treated to a private guided tour of the house and watermill and many choose to end their visit with a home made cream tea.
We also hosted our Gift and Food Fest at the end of the month. Some 400 guests visited us on the Saturday and were treated to a lovely fine day with many small stands selling an array of goods such as preserves, sweets, clothing, jewellery and bread etc. Sunday, however, looked to be a wash out with torrential rain in the morning making it impossible to use the gazebos and party tents we had ready. Not to be beaten, we moved the stands into any available space we could find - The Stables, The Tack Room, The Coach House and the Old Manor. Although wet and miserable, nearly 200 lovely guests braved the rain and came to the show. Thank you to everyone who took part and to all our visitors. Particular thanks to Jeanette Howse who was inspirational in the organising and planning and to all staff who worked hard under difficult circumstances.
April 2015 -
Mapledurham at War
Mapledurham underwent a transformation as 500 re enactors descended on us over the Easter Weekend. Lola and her team organised an incredible weekend as we played host to wartime uniforms, weapons, vehicles and wartime antics. The village was transformed for the general public to enjoy. Visitors were treated to 'live battles' as the Mill was taken, amphibious landings, mortar firing and numerous demonstrations.
The refurbished Pantry Tea rooms were in full flow with teas, pies and sarnies flying out of the door. We are already planning for next year and we promise to be bigger and better!
Bob and his team have been unbelievable in delivering a superb refurb of the tearoom and the coachouse. The new tearooms will now serve light lunches with locally made pasties and sausage rolls. Homemade soup and sandwiches and of course our famous cream teas!
Flour from the watermill, and our very own in-village baker means we can measure some of our carbon footprint in food metres not miles....
Come and enjoy an afternoon on the tea lawn and let Julie and the team keep you fed and watered.
Congratulations to Julie Burchell - Highly Commended in the Beautiful South Awards 2014
We are delighted to report that Julie has been awarded Highly Commended in the Category of Outstanding Customer Services in the Beautiful South Awards 2014. Nominated for her dedication and help with the tourism at Mapledurham, we are very proud that she has achieved this award. She is a very worthy winner and we would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to Julie for all she does here.