The Friends of Leith Hall Supporting the future of Leith Hall through Promotion, Education and Participation - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Friends of Leith Hall Supporting the future of Leith Hall through Promotion, Education and Participation

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  1. The Friends of Leith Hall Supporting the future of Leith Hall through Promotion, Education and Participation The Friends of Leith Hall Leith Hall Kennethmont Aberdeenshire AB54 4NQ clow@nts.org.uk or saveleithhall@aol.com Welcome to the first quarterly newsletter of the Friends of Leith Hall. The group was formed in December 2009 as a result of concerns about the future of the property which is run by the National Trust for Scotland. 2009 was a particularly trying time for the NTS and as a result of this Leith Hall Mansion House was one of the properties which has been closed to the public. However, the beautiful grounds and gardens remain open and are still much utilised by members of the public and of the National Trust for Scotland. A walk through the grounds is wonderful whatever time of year and there are various places of particular interest throughout the grounds and various walks or trails have been marked out previously. The old Kirk of Kinnethmont lies just a short distance from the house (across the railway bridge) and contains many interesting headstones both pertaining to the Leith Hay family and people who had lived in the area for many generations. The walled garden is also a must and there is a beautiful gate known as the “Moon Gate” which overlooks nearby hills and close by there are some Pictish stones. The herbaceous borders and rock gardens (filled with alpines) are a delight and the curved stable block, built in the 18th century by John Leith (who was later murdered whilst away in Aberdeen) is a beautiful building and well worth a look. Whilst walking through the grounds make sure you look out for the Ice House during your walk. Leith Hall, a jewel in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland nestles in the heart of Aberdeenshire.  Not a castle but an impressive mansion house and a dream for historians.  Leith Hall has only ever belonged to one family and the visitor has the opportunity to follow that family from origins to end - an educational tour. It was built by James Leith in 1650 and remained in the family until it was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland in 1945.  The house itself started as a typical Scottish tower house but with extensions in Regency and Victorian times it comes together as an architectural vision. The Leith Hay men were very military minded, starting with General Alexander Leith Hall, lovingly known as General Sandy.  The historian can live through the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, Balaclava, and the uprising of the Jacobites. The military exhibition at Leith Hall contains exciting momentos and spoils of war, a scarf belonging to Napoleon, a writing case and miniature given by Bonny Prince Charlie, a throne chair and even a native American outfit to name but a few.  The military pictures at Leith Hall are historically enlightening, the "Storming of San Sebastian" by Deighton, "The Battle of Balaclava", besides the more refined pictures in other parts of the house, a feast to the eyes to those who appreciate art. The Leith Hall story is a sad story, through days of glory and heroic deeds many visitors have been moved to tears.  Yet many say the spirits of some who lived here still visit.....

  2. The National Trust for Scotland Ranger Service looks after the wider estate at Leith Hall to undertake Biological monitoring, education work and estate maintenance such as path repairs and invasive species control. We run a children’s club once a month called the Nature Detectives and we encourage local schools to come out and join us in minibeasts hunts, looking at the seasonal changes, wildlife changes and other activities. If you would like to find out more about what we do the please contact Stephen Reeves (Ranger) on 0844 493 2167 or sreeves@nts.org.uk NTS Update The Trust, as part of its ongoing commitment to re-opening the Mansion House, subject to a proven sustainable business case, has approved the second stage of a project. This second stage – first feasibility study – will involve employing an accredited conservation architect to consider minor alterations internally, both to secure the future of the fabric and allow more lucrative use of the Hall. It will also include rigorous market testing of each of the proposed funding streams, which is being jointly undertaken by the Group Manager and Group Finance Manager. Now well underway, with an estimated conclusion of this project stage of August 2010. This will inform a project bid for the funding to enable stage three onwards. • 2010 Photography Competition • “Aspects of Leith Hall” • This competition will run from April – September 2009 with a junior (under 18 yrs old) and senior prize-winner each month. • The winners will receive a digital photo frame and have their winning shot displayed in the grounds of Leith Hall. • Winning and highly commended entries will be included at a final exhibition to be held in October. • The images may further be used in promotional/ fundraising activities. • So load up your camera and visit Leith Hall! • Conditions; •  Free public entry •  All photos must be recognisably shot on the Leith Hall Estate under the theme; “Aspects of Leith Hall”. •  All entries received by the last day of each month will be judged by a panel of local photographers. Final closing date for entry is 30th September. •  Judges decisions are final. • Winners will be notified by 14th day of the following month, announced in the Friends of Leith Hall newsletters, and will be placed on display in the grounds of Leith Hall. • By submitting images to the Competition, you confirm that you are the sole author of each entry and that it is your original work; that you are the sole owner of the copyright in each image; you have the permission of those pictured in the image (or, where the image shows any persons under 18, the consent of their parent/guardian) for the usage required by Friends of Leith Hall and you give permission to the Friends of Leith Hall to use your image in publicity and future fundraising activities. • To Enter; •  Images can be received either in digital or print format. •  Quality should be sufficient for exhibition print and display to A4 size. •  Images will be received by mail to “Friends of Leith Hall, 2009 photo competition, The Lodge, Kennethmont, AB54 4NL” or by e-mail to photocomp@underwater.me.uk. • Accompany your image with your details; Name, Address, contact phone number or e-mail, age, Image title and any details of the shot you would like to share.