New Astley Experience opens at Astley Coach House

8 April 2015

A new pop-up Astley Experience is set to open this weekend while conservation repairs continue at Chorley’s historic hall.

Astley Hall has been closed since Christmas whilst conservation work was done to preserve the Grade 1 listed building.

Now following the recent announcement that the Hall will have to remain closed until the summer, Chorley Council has created a temporary Astley Experience in the adjacent Coach House building to ensure visitors can continue to see parts of the museum collection and experience the stories and history of Astley Hall.

The new experience will open on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 April with a display of the Astley Then and Now exhibition that explores the 90th anniversary of the Hall transferring over to Chorley Council.  The exhibition will be complimented with mystery objects, quizzes and games for younger visitors.

From Saturday 18 April through to Sunday 24 May, there will be Serving Stories workshops from 12 noon until 4pm. Visitors can discover the roles of some of the domestic servants who have lived and worked at Astley, view some of their intriguing tools of the trade and see what life was like in the mid-nineteenth century.

From Saturday 30 May until Saturday 27 June, visitors will be able to travel even further back in the Astley timeline to the Tudor period. There will be an opportunity to explore how people dressed, what they ate and visitors can try to work out some of the mystery objects from the late 1570’s.

Chorley Council’s director of public protection, streetscene and community, Jamie Carson, said: “It was hugely disappointing when we discovered the Hall couldn’t reopen as planned at the beginning of April so we decided to create a temporary Astley Experience to ensure that visitors won’t miss out on viewing and experiencing an important part of Chorley’s history.
“We’ve tried to recreate as much of the Hall and its stories as possible and I’m sure anyone who visits will be delighted to still be able to journey through history and discover the Hall’s hidden treasures and secrets.

“People don’t have to book on the experience and it is completely free, plus they can also visit the Chorley Remembers Experience which is open on the top floor of the Coach House.  If you’re looking for a great family day out with a history lesson thrown in, the Astley Experience and the delights of Astley Park are perfect for people of all ages.”

The Astley Experience will be open 12 noon until 4pm every weekend and Saturday through to Wednesday during the school holidays.  However, due to prior arrangements there will be no activities on Sunday 26 April; Saturday 13 June and Sunday 28 June.

For information on the Astley complex and the activities taking place there, like the Astley Hall, Coach House and Park Facebook page.

ENDS

Picture captions:

Glimpses of the Serving Stories workshops that will be taking place at the new Astley Experience in the Coach House.

For further information, please contact Campaigns and Engagement Manager (Events) Louise Finch on 01257 515062

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