Open Doors day at Hospitalfield

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FOLLOWING the successful autumn visitors’ open day, Hospitalfield, Arbroath, will once again welcome visitors of all ages to the house and grounds for a festive celebration this month.

An open invitation has been extended on behalf of the Patrick Allan-Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust for the winter Visitors’ Open Day on Sunday (December 11). Doors will open from 11.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and admission is free.

Attractions include an exclusive high calibre arts and crafts fair. Selected artists as well as designer-craftsmen from Angus Open Studio members will have their exhibits on sale from 11 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. in both Hospitalfield’s jazz room and studio space. A perfect opportunity for Christmas shopping!

As with previous open doors events, the grand rooms of the house will be accessible to the public free of charge. Produce from the HOPE Garden will be on sale, along with soup, sandwiches, home baking and refreshments from the Hospitalfield kitchen.

Tours of the house, at a cost of £2, will be available every half hour from 11.30 a.m. onwards and Christmas carols by the Hill Street Singers will echo beautifully through the Picture Gallery at 2 p.m.

Arbroath Abbey Timethemes will perform in period dress and glasses of mulled wine and a Christmas crafts workshop will also be on offer for all those feeling the festive cheer!

A spokesperson for the Trust commented: “We had a wonderfully positive response from the last open day in September, with just under 500 visitors arriving to explore Hospitalfield’s curiosities. I do hope you can join us, spread the word and help make this winter’s event equally successful.”

The story of one of Angus’s most important cultural resources, Hospitalfield House, is a remarkable one. It is best known to artists and art historians but has had little exposure to the wider public.

Now that has been put to rights with the publication of a short history of Hospitalfield, a year ahead of the bicentenary of Patrick Allan-Fraser whose vision still drives Hospitalfield today.

Visitors to Hospitalfield’s recently instituted programme of open days and events have regularly requested more information on the house, its history and contents. This short book, written by Hospitalfield director Willie Payne and richly illustrated in full colour throughout, responds to that need in a fascinating narrative that draws together key aspects of the family lore, architecture and art which together have made Hospitalfield an inspiration to major figures in Scottish culture from Sir Walter Scott to Joan Eardley.

The book will be launched at the Christmas Open Day on Sunday, December 11, priced £6.50 or two for £12 and will also be available through the website www.hospitalfield.org.uk

All proceeds of its sale will go towards supporting Hospitalfield and sustaining its future as a centre of art and culture for Angus and beyond. The Hospitalfield Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of the Strathmartine Trust in publishing this book and professional photographers Eddie Phillips and Jacqui Dunbar who have generously gifted their images.