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From the Chicheleys to the Bambridges the National Trust aim to provide time capsules of ownership around the Wimpole Estate. How successfully do you think they achieve this?

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History Coursework From the Chicheleys to the Bambridges the National Trust aim to provide time capsules of ownership around the Wimpole Estate. How successfully do you think they achieve this? The National Trust aims to provide time capsules of ownership in and around the Wimpole Estate. Wimpole Hall had many owners over a period of about 400 years, each owner leaving their own legacy. The National Trust has the job of untangling the layers of history to recreate snapshots of different points in time. By examining each owner and their stamp on Wimpole, it is possible to see whether the National Trust is successful in creating their stated aim. The first visual record of Wimpole is in 1638, when Benjamin Hare drew his detailed map of Wimpole. At this time it stood as a moated manor house. In 1640 Thomas Chicheley inherited Wimpole. He completely destroyed the previous manor house at Wimpole and designed and built a new hall. This is the central block of Wimpole as it exists today. Thomas Chicheley also expanded the park to the west of the house and established formal rectangular gardens and an avenue of trees to the south. Very little of the original Wimpole remains from the time of Thomas Chicheley, as so many owners after him changed and modified his original park and gardens. The main hall still exists as a time capsule of Chicheley, although changes have been added to his original building. ...read more.


He also designed elaborate plaster ceilings for existing rooms. The conservatory and wings of the house were completely destroyed. The servants quarters still remain today, and are good time capsules of the 4th Earl, although they are not exact replicas, as they contain artefacts from another owner. In 1873 the 5th Earl of Hardwicke inherited Wimpole. Charles Yorke (Champagne Charlie) led an extravagant lifestyle and gambled away most of his money. By the 1880's he was heavily in debt to the Agar Roberts Bank. In 1894 the 5th Earl of Hardwicke was forced to leave Wimpole, and the chairman of the Agar Roberts Bank took over The Estate. The 5th Earl is not represented because he made no changes, and sold everything in the house. In 1938 George and Elsie Bambridge bought Wimpole Hall. Elsie was the daughter of Rudyard Kipling and used royalties from his books to pay for the refurbishment of the empty house. She got rid of Kendall's Victorian wings. She collected many paintings, furniture and books, from her trips abroad, and these are displayed in the house today. For over forty years she was able to refurbish the house with pictures and furniture of her own choice based on travelling abroad, as well as objects associated with Wimpoles history. Most of the contents of the house today reflect Mrs Bambridges tastes and her bedroom and study are exact time capsules of her period of time. ...read more.


The National Trust is a charity and depends on the generosity of those who give it properties and donate money. Volunteers mainly run the trust. It has not been possible to achieve a perfect set of time capsules for Wimpole Hall, due to costs, time involved in research and evidence of previous times. The National Trust also has to consider health and safety regulations, as well as access for disabled visitors. Furthermore, to be able to recreate a piece of history from 200 years ago, you may have to destroy a piece of history from 100 years ago. Therefore it is often hard to decide which time period would be best to recreate, and often which time period would be easiest to recreate. It is difficult deciding whose fashion or style should be used. In conclusion the National Trust has been quite successful in the time capsules already created, although few are exact. The public when visiting Wimpole Hall, have the opportunity to experience the influence of its owners at various points in time. The work of The National Trust goes on and they will in the future be able to develop further the balance they seem to have achieved in their recreation of historical times. Sources of information I used to write my essay were The Wimpole Hall Guidebook, source sheets about Wimpole and The National Trust. A site visit and the Internet site; www.wimpole.org also helped me collect information for my essay. Ellie Scofield ...read more.

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