European Heritage Open Day 2014


Last weekend, 13 -14 September 2014, was European Heritage Open Day (EHOD for short).

This is an annual event which started in 1984. It takes place over the second weekend in September each year and is an opportunity for people to visit interesting places that they may not normally think of going to see.

There are a few variations on the opening weekend. Some places (like National Trust properties) open on one or other of the days and others open on both. Some places (again like National Trust properties) are normally open to the public for an entry fee but are open on this occasion for free; others are normally closed to the public but open for one or two days only each year during this event!

National Trust properties open for free on Saturday only, Sunday is a normal entry day again.

It is a popular event, over 60,000 people in Northern Ireland avail of the opportunity to investigate their heritage. This year here at Mount Stewart we had 1687 visitors to the property, of which 779 entered the house. With our show house smaller than usual because of the ongoing building work, we were probably at full capacity for the day.

Happily most of our visitors this season seem to have enjoyed seeing behind the scenes, watching some of our conservators in action and learning about the project and are keen to return in the future to see the end result – which is going to be rather fabulous (not that I am biased or anything…)!!

We are starting to get some of our showrooms back again which is very exciting and encouraging for us. We are starting to clean and prepare these rooms and furnishings are being returned to them. We have a busy winter ahead of us as we re-instate all the rooms ready for next season.

Next Sunday, 21 September, will be the last open day for our house this season as our contractors have work to do in a few of the areas that are currently open to the public. This needs to be completed before we open again next Spring.

Then, from next week onwards, it is all hands to the pumps as we get down to work. Everything has to be ready for the re-opening of the showrooms, which will be back to ’normal’ – except even better than ever!



House Project – Behind the Scenes Tour

On Wednesday 14 November at 2.00pm, our House & Collections Manager, Louise will be guiding visitors around the house to see for themselves the ongoing work taking place within the conservation project.

This will be an exclusive tour of the conservation project and you will see the work we carry out once the house closes. The tour will look at some of the problems that the project will tackle in the showrooms, exploring the work that will be taking place over the next 3 years. You will also get the chance to look into rooms that have never been seen by visitors before, see the specially created purpose built store in the chapel and also look in detail at the structural issues and solutions that we will be carrying out to the house. You will also have the chance to see the winter clean work we do and how we care for the collection here at Mount Stewart.

Booking is essential for this tour and the price is £10 per adult / member adult.

To book a place, please contact our reception on (028) 4278 8387.

Rolls Royce of Heating Exhibition

Rolls Royce of Heating exhibition – This Sunday 17th at Mount Stewart

One of the house and collections team will be in the house to show you examples of historic heating systems from the early 20th century, including air duct and chimney heating, right through to our new technology. They’ll also be discussing how we heat Mount Stewart today.

Exhibition will be on Sunday 17th June during our Vehicles of Yesteryear event, be sure to stop by and say hello! We’ll be in the Central Hall while the house is open from 12pm-5pm.