Hylands House is getting ready to host its first open day since the start of the pandemic. The new event is bigger than ever, with free tours of Hylands House, afternoon teas, a farmers’ and craft market, an open day at the artist studios and live music at The Stables in the line-up.

Open house for Heritage Open Days

Hylands House is one of the most iconic historic properties in Essex and the famous Neoclassical villa will be open to the public between 10am and 4pm as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days. You can visit the restored period rooms at your leisure or join a guided tour at 11am. Look out for replicas of sculptures by Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen in the entrance hall and don’t forget to check out the lavish interiors of the Neo-Baroque Banqueting Room.

Spotlight on the Gooch family

Open days are also a chance to find out more about the many different owners of Hylands House and this September the spotlight will be on the Gooch family. Sir Daniel Gooch and his wife were famous hosts in their day, making national headlines with the society wedding of a Hollywood star and a well-known aviator at the estate. Learn all about their eventful 15-year tenure at a special exhibition in the library, and if this period of Hylands history inspires you to find out more, there’s a new book about Hylands on sale in the house and The Stables.

Sir Daniel Gooch (centre) on the back lawn at his daughter’s wedding

Vintage Afternoon teas and an expanded farmers’ market

Sunday 19 September sees the start of vintage afternoon teas in the Terrace Room. The two sittings for this month are already fully booked but there are still spaces available at the next Open House on Sunday 17 October, so if you missed out this time around, go to the Hylands Estate website to book your table.

Afternoon teas aren’t the only food and drink being served on Sunday. The farmers’ and craft market will be taking place outside between Hylands House and The Stables with more stallholders than ever, and The Stables Café will be serving customers throughout the day.

Two women take afternoon tea at Hylands House
Pre-booked vintage afternoon teas will be served in the Terrace Room

Live music and open house at The Stables

Hylands House isn’t the only part of the estate open to the public this Sunday. The Hylands Artist Studios at The Stables, which is home to artists, designers, and makers, will be open to explore for the first time since March 2020.

There’ll be live musical entertainment in The Stables courtyard too, from fellow Chelmsford creatives Hotbox, with sets from Leo Walrus, Armoured Man and the Zak Barrett Trio planned. Find out more about the line up on the Hotbox website.

Entry to Hylands House and The Stables is free and if you’d like to know more about everything happening this weekend, go to the Hylands Estate website.

By Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.

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