DVA and Wolfeton Riding House Press Release 22 February 2017
WOLFETON RIDING HOUSE - CHARMINSTER, DORSET
Wolfeton Riding House, dating from the early 16th Century is nationally important, one of the earliest surviving riding houses in the country. Riding houses were the centres of the equestrian tradition of haute école, the precision schooling of horses.
Acquired in a ruinous condition by the Wolfeton Riding House Trust in 1997, it has been subject to a major restoration programme, funded by English Heritage and other major donors.
In 2015 the Heritage Lottery Fund supported an options study to look at the future use of the property. A consultation exercise involving the local community and other key stakeholders strongly supported opening up the Riding House to the public, and the need to generate income to secure the future of the Riding House.
It was clear that the Trust could not do this alone. Over the last year we have been in discussion with a number of organisations to see how developing the property could be best taken forward, while preserving its unique ambience and sense of place.
Developing Wolfeton Riding House as a cultural venue was a preferred option and we are delighted to announce that the Trust has agreed to a proposal by Dorset Visual Arts to develop the property as an exciting and alternative arts venue, providing creative space for exhibitions, events and installations supported by education programmes, as well as opportunities for local artists and the public to make the most of the natural environment around it.
Plans for completing the restoration of the property, converting the adjacent outbuildings to provide reception and office space and landscaping the derelict farmyard will be developed over the coming year and we will be consulting with local interest groups to explore how they could be involved in this exciting new development for Dorset.
Dorset Visual Arts will be staging a high quality crafts installation as part of its Making Dorset event between 28th June and 3rd July 2017. Plans for the new development proposals will be on show and Dorset Visual Arts staff will be available to discuss their proposals.
Issued: Wednesday 22 February 2017
Find out more about it's history and restoration HERE