A hand-made Christmas at Avebury Manor
By Tyler Ody - 27 November 2019
This year Christmas at Avebury Manor gives visitors a chance to discover handmade decorations based on traditional carols and escape the hustle and bustle of the festive season.
The decorations throughout Avebury Manor have been skilfully hand made by the National Trust volunteer Christmas team, with over 5,000 hours of work going into the displays.
The spectacular ornaments are themed on traditional carols - look out for the 'Seven Swans a swimming' across the dining room table, see the angels in the Queen Anne room, or if you're looking for a 'Silent Night' then why not lie down and relax in the Tudor Bedroom?
Amelia Bryan, House Manager said ‘The amount of dedication that’s gone into this year’s displays is astounding – when you come and visit, make sure you look at the details, these pieces are exquisite. I’m amazed at the time and effort everyone has put into it.’
The Christmas team consists of a core group of 10 people, mostly volunteers, with others helping to support them at key times and they’ve been working on this for the whole year.
One of the key creative minds in designing the decorations is Christy Wyper who explains why she volunteers, ‘we’ve got an amazingly inventive manager, Hazel Barry-Scott, who comes up with bolder and more ambitious themes every year, which we’ve had tremendous fun bringing to life with these hand-made decorations.’
Hazel Barry-Scott is the Senior Visitor Experience Officer for Avebury and is the driving force behind the displays. She says ‘every year our Christmas offer gets bigger and better. The feeling I get walking through the manor goes beyond festive – I’m so proud of what the team have achieved, and I can’t wait to see our visitors’ reactions’
As well as the manor, the newly refurbished National Trust shop, run by Retail Manager, Di Vickers, offers a wide range of hand-made goods, all of which are locally sourced. Di explains ‘There’s lots happening in the shop now and it’s all looking sparkly and festive. Our hand-made, local products are proving to be very popular for Christmas, we’ve a wide range on offer including beautiful candles, delicious mead, glass and silver jewellery, soaps, lip balms and more. When you can buy a gift knowing it was hand-made by local craftsperson, it really makes it that extra bit special.’
The National Trust aim to make Christmas at Avebury a calm and relaxing experience, reminiscent of times long past, for those visitors who wish for a rest from the crowds.
To find out more about Christmas at Avebury or how to volunteer go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury