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Hatfield Court


Nr Leominster



Phone: 01568 760333

January 2001

Monique Heijn

Pudleston Court

Nr Leominster



Dear Mrs Heijn

Eye Manor

As you and your husband have been involved in a number of exciting projects in this county, I felt that I would like to write to you about a project dear to my heart which you might just possibly care to be involved in. This is to form an organisation to re-acquire Eye Manor, the house where I grew up, and to reopen it as a heritage site and major tourist attraction, both in its own right and also as a celebration of the arts and crafts world of my mother and father whose enterprises included the richly illustrated Golden Cockerell Press which, along with the Gregynog and the Nonesuch, was among the three most important private presses of the mid-twentieth century.

Richly illustrated by artists like John Buckland Wright and Eric Ravillious, these would give a wonderful opportunity for a walk-in recreation of that world.

My mother was a pioneer of the corn dolly revival which also would lend itself splendidly to audio visual celebration and I have a number of other ideas in this area.

The place is of architectural importance and is ideally suited to this role as it is on the signposted route which runs between Croft Castle and Berrington Hall, the other two architecturally astonishing houses of North Herefordshire, both owned by the National Trust. They have about 20,000 to 30,000 visitors a year and, when opened to the public by my parents, Eye Manor had about 8,000 visitors a year.

Might you be able to give some advice, however brief, as to what sort of organisational structure (presumably some sort of charitable trust) would be most appropriate to achieve this end, and possibly a model letter which one should write to acquire funds, etc?

It is just possible that you might wish to be involved in the project yourself, which would also be well worth discussing.

It is thought that the house may be coming on the market again in the spring, and it seems likely that Leader II would be prepared to finance a feasibility study.

If you were able to spare a moment to meet, that also would be most helpful, but I quite appreciate that you might not have the time.

With best wishes

Jeremy Sandford

P.S. The lights at Ford Abbey have been much less intrusive and I am most grateful if that was as a result of your instructions.


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