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Unlocking the potential of Tatton's musical collection

Realising the potential of Tatton Park’s fantastic musical manuscript collection when visiting to look at the archives in 2009, Jeanice Brooks, Professor of Music from Southampton University, devised a successful funding bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council to research and understand the collection.

Jeanice Prooks, Professor of Music at Southampton University

Jeanice Prooks, Professor of Music at Southampton University

Funding allowed three students to begin in 2010, Phd level research into the musical collections of Elizabeth Egerton nee Sykes, of Tatton Park, Cheshire, and Lydia Hoare of Killerton House, Devon.

Elizabeth Sykes, (Mrs Wilbraham Egerton), c. 1795

Elizabeth Sykes, (Mrs Wilbraham Egerton), c. 1795
portrait miniature by Abraham Daniel of Bath
©Tatton Park/Cheshire East Council, National Trust**

Jeanice’s initial thoughts and findings were published in Music and Letters* in 2010 in her article entitled ‘Musical Monuments for the Country House, Music. Collection and Display at Tatton Park’, and you can find out all about the project to date by visiting University of Southampton website.

The collaboration with Southampton University on the project has been hugely beneficial for Tatton and the National Trust, yielding facts and information about the Egerton family and how they lived at Tatton, and bringing the opportunity for a number of events where live musical performances have taken place in the house, including the closing event for the Tatton Park Biennial of 2012. The project has also helped to link Tatton with the Royal Northern College of Music.

After three years of painstaking research by Jeanice and her team, we are starting to reap the rewards, with one student, Leena Rana, recently completing her doctorate, and Penelope Cave due to complete later in 2013.

Penelope Cave and Leena Rana at Tatton Park ©Tatton Park/Cheshire East Council/ National Trust**

Penelope Cave and Leena Rana at Tatton Park ©Tatton Park/Cheshire East Council/ National Trust**

The AHRC want to make sure that their projects are shared with a wider audience, so offer funding opportunities for interpretive work. In 2012 Jeanice was successful once again in securing funding for the making of four short films about the work of her team, which will be shared via the internet and on digital media at Tatton.

Project Managed by Penelope Cave, under the direction of Jeanice Brooks we look forward to sharing these four films with you and visitors to Tatton later this year. We’ll let you know when to look out for these on our websites.

Caroline Schofield

Mansion & Collections Manager, Tatton Park


*Music and Letters, Vol. 91 No. 4, Published by Oxford University Press, 2010

**©Tatton Park/Cheshire East Council/National Trust/George Littler and Peter Spooner



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