In February Sedbergh School Foundation were awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to preserve and provide access to the archive collection of Casterton School, the historic school of the Brontë sisters and reformer in women’s education and founder of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Dorothea Beale.

The project has involved extensive cataloguing by School Archivist, Katy de la Rivière, who said, “Sedbergh School are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support. We have been able to repackage archival collections in preservation materials, conserving them for years to come, and have created a touring exhibition with pop up displays as well as a Victorian style ‘selfie booth’ with replica costumes recreated from archival accounts of uniform in the mid-19th century”. The collection also includes original documents recording the education of the Bronte sisters who were educated at the school in 1824 as well more recent items kindly donated by former staff and pupils of the school.

As part of this December’s National Lottery #thankyou Week Tim Farron has been invited by the National Lottery to visit one of the ongoing projects in his constituency and it is a great honour that he has chosen to visit the Casterton School archive in Sedbergh. Tim’s visit comes on the first day of the National Lottery #thankyou Week when the exhibition will be open to members of the public. 

Katy de la Rivière said: ‘We’re really honoured that Tim has made time to visit the project. We’ve had such wonderful support from Casterton Old Girls, staff and the local community who have donated photographs and artefacts, helped catalogue the collection and spent many mornings giving context to images in the extensive photograph collection. We are delighted that the exhibition is now complete and accessible to the public.’

The Archive and Heritage Centre, Back Lane, Sedbergh will be open on Thursday 14th and Saturday 16th from 10am – 4 pm and all visitors will be most welcome. For further information about the Open Days or the exhibition please contact Jonathan Woof 015396 22275

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.

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