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Ushaw is currently developing its cultural and heritage programme in order to enable more people to engage with the wonderful buildings and collections in its care. We rely on funding and donations to continue and expand our work and in particular to:
1. Help with collections care and conservation of the buildings, collections and gardens ensuring they will be enjoyed by future generations.
2. Build on the events and exhibition programme that enliven and animate Ushaw.
We are currently fundraising for a number of different projects that you could help with:
The High Altar built in 1847 for Pugin’s original chapel is now situated in the Sacred Heart Chapel, part of a larger complex of Chapels which are grade one listed. The altar is a stunning design with a stone altarpiece supported by figures of painted angels and cherubim. Above the Tabernacle and Throne for displaying the Blessed Sacrament, is a statue of Christ giving His benediction and a dramatic Reredos, divided into six compartments, each containing polychrome scenes from the passion of Christ sculpted in high relief.
The altar and credence table have been completely untouched since they were moved to their current location in 1882. Over time general dirt and build up from candle smoke has dulled the colour of the polychrome sculptures and the gilding with much detail obscured. In order for the quality of the craftsmanship to be fully appreciated and the altarpiece to be seen as was originally intended, we need to carry out a programme of conservation with specialist staff. Durham University’s Conservation team has carried out some initial tests and has outlined a detailed programme of cleaning and restoration that will require around 16 weeks of work.
As part of plans to develop the site as a visitor attraction, we would like to revitalise the formal gardens and parkland. The grounds are currently open to the public free of charge and the majority of maintenance work is carried out by a dedicated group of around 20 volunteers. Many areas however remain overgrown and paths are in poor condition.
The grounds were laid out as formal gardens around 1821 and are composed of ornamental planting around a circuit of walks and a lake. Planting was designed to create year round colour and college notes describe the inclusion of gold and silver cypresses, variegated weigelias, golden and silver dogwood, purple and red leaved cherries, crabs, maples and hazels and the golden philadelphus to give more variety to the foliage.
In order to increase access to the gardens and improve the enjoyment of the landscape, we would like to improve the planting to create year round interest, relay paths and create new signposted walks and trails suitable for a range of visitors including families, children and those with limited mobility.
Donations can be made to support any of our projects or just towards our general running costs. Cheques can be sent to Ushaw, Durham DH7 9RH and should be made payable to Ushaw College. If you are a taxpayer you can complete the downloadable gift aid form which allows us to reclaim an extra 25p for every £1 donated – at no extra cost to you.
You could also set up a regular gift by direct debit. Please contact Anne Timothy to discuss this further by telephoning 0191 334 6423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ushaw is grateful for the support of many organisations and individuals who help our work. These include:
- Arts Council England
- Heritage Lottery Fund
- St Cuthberts Society
- The Barbour Foundation
- Stanley Smith (UK) Horitcultural Trust
- The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust