A framed piece of history has been returned to Northamptonshire heritage site

Two paintings dating back to the 1800s have been returned to Chester House Estate – hand delivered by a former Northamptonshire resident.

Carole Gillespie, who lived in Northamptonshire when she was a young girl, travelled from her home in Sheffield earlier this month to deliver two paintings that had been in her family for years.

Carole said: “I was deep cleaning my house and rediscovered the paintings underneath my bed that my late husband Harry’s aunt left to us. They’d been there for more than 20 years, but we never did anything with them.

“My brother Paul, who used to be a Northampton Chronicle and Echo newspaper paperboy when we lived in Northamptonshire, came with me on this nostalgic trip. We looked up Chester House Estate online and saw it has been renovated and now open to the public – it looked great so we wanted to come and see it for ourselves and drop off the paintings to the team.”

The paintings are now hung in Chester House Estate’s brand new Haybarn Bar, opened earlier this month. Carole and Paul have been invited to see their paintings on display on their next trip to Northamptonshire.

Cllr Helen Howell, North Northamptonshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Culture, Heritage and Tourism, said: “This is such a lovely story and shows the more personal side to the Chester House Estate’s long history. Having a gem like these paintings returned to us is incredible.

“I would like to thank Carole for her thoughtful gesture and encourage anyone who has connections to the Chester House Estate to visit the site, share your family’s stories and see our treasured heritage site for yourself.”

Chester House Estate is open seven days a week, 10am to 4pm, where visitors can explore the site’s 10,000-year history in the Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC) and across the 85-acre grounds. The site features a Farmhouse Café, artisan shops, walking routes and an outdoor play area.

Visit www.chesterhouse.co.uk to plan your visit and learn more about the history of the estate.


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