Hundreds flock to Hospitalfield open day

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HOSPITALFIELD House offered visitors a rare treat at the weekend by allowing them in a week before Angus Open Doors was due to commence.

Over 450 people took advantage of the opportunity, and according to organisers there was an overwhelmingly positive response, including the collection of more than £1,300 for Hospitalfield funds.

The weekend was a true community effort with volunteers from a range of organisations lending a hand to make the most of the occasion and enjoy bringing the historic house to life.

The Picture Gallery echoed once more to music provided at various times throughout the weekend by the tuneful Montrose Academy Baroque Ensemble, local pianist Mark Spalding and guitarist Rory Comerford as well as an impromptu recital on the rare Broadwood Concert grand piano by a passing guest.

Volunteers from the Friends of Hospitalfield delivered nuggets of the history of each room together with its furniture and art, Arbroath Abbey Timethemes performed a special knighting ceremony, and the Jazz Room was taken over by Angus Open Studios as a craft showcase.

Meanwhile guided tours by Trust Chair Ken Cargill and Graham McNicol rambled round environs such as the library of rare manuscripts, Patrick Allan-Fraser’s original Victorian coach - on display for the first time and the old dog kennels now refurbished as the Kinpurnie Print Studio giving the opportunity to see resident artists currently at work.

Trust chair Kenneth Cargill said: “Every Open Day surprises us with the numbers, mostly local people discovering Hospitalfield for the first time, but also others who travelled long distances.

“Almost without exception they go away captivated. We have been delighted with the support received from so many organisations and individuals coming forward to make the most of this wonderful house and to lend their support in all kinds of ways.

“We owe a special thank you to Rebecca Westguard, our events manager who has worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

Hospitalfield House will also host a gourmet supper tomorrow night (Saturday) for which a few places are still available.