Insole Court, a gothic Victorian mansion and gardens nestled in the leafy suburbs of Llandaff, Cardiff, has opened a brand-new permeant immersive exhibition to the public this month.
At last the fascinating story behind the once forgotten house in the leafy suburbs of Llandaff in the Welsh capital can be shared with the public.
“This House is a Stage” is an experiential exhibition that brings local history to life in the form of a dramatic rendition of the rise and the fall of the Insole Family, who built and inhabited the mansion, spanning an entire century from their arrival in Cardiff in the 19th century.
The exhibition relays the Insole family story, which mirrors Cardiff’s rise and decline during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The Insoles were pioneering coal-shippers and mine-owners, railwaymen and docksmen during the three generations of Welsh Steam Coal’s dominance of world industry. The family reached the height of its prosperity in the late 19th Century having acquired large land holdings, central to which was their home, Insole Court.
Now in the hands of a charity, Insole Court Trust, the house and gardens have recently reopened to the public and hosts a variety of classes, events and activities.
This new exhibition is the culmination and celebration of the hard work carried out by the charity and a passionate local community of researchers and volunteers to preserve, cherish and share the stories and history of Insole Court, a national heritage treasure that was at risk of being forgotten.
Insole Court Chairman, Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards said:
“As a Trust, we are committed to the preservation and protection of Insole Court and its gardens for public benefit, education, well-being, social welfare and recreation. This new exhibition is a wonderful way to share the story of Insole Court with visitors and we invite the people of Cardiff and beyond to experience its past, and explore our history brought to life.”
Business Manager, Gray Hill said:
“We are very excited to embark upon this new exciting chapter for Insole Court, marked by the recent opening of our new immersive family drama, “This House is a Stage”. We now have the pleasure of inviting people into the inner depths of the house to experience not only its rich local history, but also the secrets, stories and dreams of the Insole family and their life in Wales during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
“This truly is an almost theatrical way for visitors to come to know the story of the Insole family in their original and restored family home, hidden away in Cardiff city centre, still standing after being brought back to life again for the people of today to visit and we are thrilled to invite people from Cardiff and beyond this summer to Insole Court.”
The new experience for visitors is now open on the first floor, where the stories of the abandoned rooms will come to life through a mix of technology and drama to tell the story of the Insole family, their triumphs and their tragedies.
Visitors can also visit the ground floor of the mansion and the ornamental gardens free of charge, as well as the Potting Shed Café, serving freshly baked cakes, brunch and lunch seven days a week.
On site the formerly derelict Stable Yard has now been transferred into a vibrant hub, hosting community, corporate and private functions
For more information on Insole Court including further information about the exhibition and upcoming events visit www.insolecourt.org, find us on Facebook and Twitter, @insolecourt or call (029)21 167920.