Our Christmas Term Curator Evening took place on Tuesday 17th October.  It marks the start of a series of talks about the grounds and land surrounding Stonyhurst, which will lead into an exciting new appeal to be launched in the new year.

Our Curator Jan Graffius gave an incredibly vivid history of the avenue, canals, statuary and gardens of Stonyhurst – detailing the incredible investment and the influence of European and Moorish gardens to the Stonyhurst estate by Nicholas and Catherine Shireburn in the early 18th century.

Unfortunately the tale was not one of complete joyousness but also contained a little sadness at Stonyhurst’s lost treasures, which include some of our lead statues by the famous sculptor John Van Nost whose works were also displayed in Hampton Court, Castle Howard and Buckingham Palace to name a few.  Thankfully we still have five of the original forty statues in our gardens today, but the others were melted down by the Jesuits in 1795 to fix the leaking Stonyhurst roof!

After the presentation, Jan led the guests from the Bayley Room up to the restored Historic Libraries and they had a sneak peek at the newly refurbished ‘Old Chapel Museum’.