Have you got an enthusiasm for heritage and are looking to upskill professionally? Or perhaps you want to learn a new craft as a hobby for wellbeing and creativity? The National Trust’s Heritage and Rural Skills Centre is now taking bookings for a new programme of courses for 2024, running from March – November.
The Heritage and Rural Skills Centre, based in the National Trust village of Coleshill on the West Oxfordshire/Wiltshire border, officially launched in 2023 and ran a successful programme of courses last year. 2024’s programme sees the return of popular courses such as introductory blacksmithing, weaving, and stained glass making, alongside new offerings including knife making, intermediate blacksmithing, glass painting, and basket making.
Each course is led by a craft specialist, who will guide you through the process of creating something to take home. Materials and tools are all provided in the price, and, for the first time, under 25s can take advantage of a young person’s discount on some courses.
Many heritage and rural skills necessary for maintaining historic buildings are critically endangered, at risk of dying out without new people to learn and carry on the traditions. The National Trust Centre hopes to help save and safeguard some of these endangered crafts by offering these bookable courses, as well as rental units for professional craftspeople seeking a creative community environment.
You can also support the work of the Centre and the National Trust by visiting the second-hand bookshop, café, and welcome centre at the Old Carpenters Yard in Coleshill. The newly renovated café has recently been taken over by Blake’s Kitchen, who offer a delicious selection of cakes, savouries, sandwiches, and hot food to order. You can also join guided tours of the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre as part of the Coleshill Village Open Days, which take place on the second Sunday of the month from April - October, 2-5pm.
Courses all take place at the National Trust's Heritage and Rural Skills Centre, based in the village of Coleshill, nr Swindon SN6 7PT.
To find out more, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Image credit: ©National Trust Images James Dobson