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New funding awarded to Delapré Abbey to uncover and celebrate working class heritage

• A volunteer-led project will shed light on the untold stories of individuals who lived and worked at Abbey Farm, part of the Delapré Abbey estate
• ‘Stories of Abbey Farm’ is being funded by Historic England’s Everyday Heritage grant programme, celebrating working class histories
• Historic England is funding 56 new projects across England, which tell the stories of our nation’s working class heritage

Stories of Abbey Farm is one of 56 new projects that Historic England will be funding across the next two years through its Everyday Heritage grant programme, celebrating working class histories.

A grant of £8211.50 will help uncover and celebrate the hidden histories of those who lived and worked at Abbey Farm on the Delapré Abbey estate, during the 20th century. Spearheaded by local volunteers, the project will result in a series of exhibitions – created with and by members of the local community – which illuminate the lives and contributions of individuals whose stories remain largely untold.

The project will accompany Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust’s exciting plans to restore and repurpose the dilapidated 19th century stables block into a hub for wellbeing and leisure, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Trust while supporting community need.

Richard Clinton, Chief Executive of Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust, said:We are thankful to Historic England for their support. As a country estate, much of Delapré Abbey’s interpretation has focused on the nuns that resided at the Abbey during the medieval period, or the wealthy family that owned the estate later on. This funding will enable us to uncover and celebrate the diverse histories of Abbey Farm, putting often overlooked working class stories and the local community at the forefront of the wider estate. These stories will enrich our collective understanding and appreciation of this much-loved local landmark”.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:There are so many hidden histories to uncover here in England. Every community has a story to tell and we want to hear them. This is the strength of our Everyday Heritage grant programme, which funds projects that are community-led and really engage with local people by empowering them to research and tell their own stories. I’m excited to learn more about these fascinating projects as they shine an important light on our working class heritage.

The Everyday Heritage grant programme aims to shine a light on the diversity of our heritage and is part of Historic England’s commitment to ensuring that a wider range of people are able to connect with, enjoy and benefit from the historic environment.

Launched in 2022, the programme has already funded 57 projects from across England.

For those interested in getting involved in the project or with a personal connection to Abbey Farm, please contact Eleanor Sier at eleanor.sier@delapreabbey.org. To find out more about the redevelopment of the 19th century stables, visit delapreabbey.org or search #AStableFuture on social media.

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