Day: September 9, 2015

Sheep and Chandeliers

“Sheep and Chandeliers” is the title the National Trust of England, Wales & Northern Ireland has given to its brochure for Wimpole Hall and Wimpole Farm, where we joined a group of participants in the 16th International Conference of National Trusts for a day of in-depth discussions and tours on Tuesday. Over the course of the day, we gathered in small groups throughout the estate with National Trust staff and volunteers to discuss topics such as the spirit of place, ways to use the past to engage with contemporary issues, and cultural identities in a homogenizing world. All were fascinating, made even more so by the extraordinary setting of this estate and working farm. We learned of the site’s role in World War II, where it hosted American and British bombers on the large expanse of lawn in the front of Wimpole Hall, as well as some of the challenges of interpretation for a site with layered histories and traditional expectations of how an estate would be presented to the public. The discussion sessions were …