Heritage Lottery to fund a Heritage Memorial Garden at Tolson Museum

The Friends of Tolson and Ravensknowle have been awarded £97k from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a memorial garden to remember those men and women of Huddersfield who died whilst serving their Country, in conflicts from 1914 to the present day. The ‘Friends’ will raise a further  £5k and the project is a partnership between Kirklees Council’s Parks team, the Museums and Galleries Service and the Friends.

Ravensknowle Hall, now Tolson Memorial Museum, was given to the people of Huddersfield by Legh Tolson as a memorial to his nephews Robert Huntriss Tolson and James Martin Tolson who were killed in the fighting in France in the First World War.

This grant  provides a wonderful opportunity to create an outdoor memorial for all to enjoy.

The Friends will collect the experiences of people and their families in Huddersfield who lived through World War II and have served in conflicts since 1945 to inform the development of the memorial garden.

An artist will  work with young people, local community groups and the Friends to create art  works in the garden. Local people will also dry build the stone walls,  and plant flower beds.

The ‘Friends’ will research  the original layout of the gardens of Ravensknowle Hall.

A unique part of the garden will be a space designed for drama, music and other outdoor performances. The garden will open later in 2014.

Ann Denham, Chair of the Friends of Tolson and Ravensknowle, said, “I am so thrilled that we have has been granted an award. This garden will provide a fitting memorial to those local people killed in the service of their country. It will add a new dimension to a visit to Tolson Museum.”

Kathryn White, Museums and Galleries Development Manager, added, “The friends have developed an amazing project which will give a whole range of local people the chance to get involved. The garden will enhance the museum and be both a quiet, reflective space and a vibrant, living memorial which can be enjoyed by everyone. It will support the museum in its role as a focus for World War I  commemoration over the next few years, as well as remembering more recent losses. We’re very grateful to Heritage Lottery fund for supporting the garden”

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