A new General Manager, with a formidable record in heritage and hospitality, will take a leading role in developing Marchmont House as a home for artists, makers and creators.
Anthony Hughes-Onslow was previously General Manager (GM) of the historic Chawton House, Hampshire, which belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, Edward Austen-Knight, and is home to a research centre into early women’s writing.
He has been GM at the Broadlands estate, home of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and also looked after Stanford Hall near Lutterworth. Hughes-Onslow also ran a string of award-winning public houses and restaurants in Wiltshire and the New Forest.
He will help shape the future of Marchmont, near Greenlaw in Berwickshire, as a location for inspirational events and as a provider of workshops and studios for high quality artists and makers. Marchmont also hopes businesses clients will adopt it as a “home from home” for meetings, events, training sessions and conferences.
The 1750 Grade A listed Palladian mansion is run by Marchmont Farms Ltd. Director, Hugo Burge, led an award-winning restoration of the property which has outstanding Georgian and Arts & Crafts interiors.
A £1 million private investment has transformed former outbuildings into six Creative Spaces providing workspaces for sculptors, stonemasons, furniture makers and painters.
Marchmont has also established one of the finest collections of UK sculpture in the world.
Hughes-Onslow will co-ordinate the eight strong team (ranging from IT experts to archivists and art historians) responsible for realising the vision for Marchmont.
Food writer and television cook Valentine Warner has come on board as chef partner in order to create menus and run the catering for some events.
Hughes-Onslow said: “It’s not often that you have the chance to get involved at an early stage in a project as exciting as the one to make Marchmont a home for artists, makers and other creators.
“Marchmont House has an astonishing aura of excellence about it, and I aim to embellish that reputation as part of this remarkable team that has been assembled here.
“I strive for excellence and the properties I have been associated with have been recognised for their high standards of customer care, quality of food and hospitality and for exceeding customers’ expectations.
“This was such a fantastic opportunity that I didn’t think twice about moving from the place where I was happily settled in the south of England.”
Before the Covid-19 lockdown Marchmont was building a strong reputation for arts and cultural events and conferences that attracted international audiences and speakers.
Hughes-Onslow will expand the Creative Spaces programme, attract new business opportunities and set up an events programme.
Burge said: “Anthony’s appointment opens a new chapter in our work to build a home to makers and creators. His operational experience in hospitality and management in country houses will help us build further momentum in bringing Marchmont alive as somewhere that inspires creativity.
“In particular we look forward to welcoming executive teams to use Marchmont as an inspiring retreat and to providing a place for groups with interests in the arts, culture or other forms of creativity to hold special events.
“The house is currently closed due to Covid but we are using the time to make preparations to bounce back when conditions allow. And next year we look forward to reinstating tours and launching open studios and gardens days.”
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Notes for Editors
For media information contact Matthew Shelley at Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org or 07786 704299.
- Following the recent completion of award-winning restoration, the goal is now to bring the house alive as a home for makers and creators, celebrating innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
- Located near Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders, Marchmont House is only open to the public for a limited number of days each year, for tours and special events. It was awarded the 2018 Historic Houses/Sotheby’s Award for the recently completed seven-year restoration, which was described by the jury as “stunning”.
- The Creative Spaces project is entirely privately funded by Marchmont Farms Limited and has not called on grants from the public sector or charities – which are facing immense demands for their limited resources.
- The project’s value has already been demonstrated by the establishing of The Marchmont Workshop, which has saved the great 19th-century tradition of Arts & Crafts rush seated ladder back chairs.
- Visit www.marchmonthouse.com for more information.
- For information about The Marchmont Workshop see https://themarchmontworkshop.com.
About Hugo Burge
- Director of Marchmont Ventures which is building sustainable creativity in the arts, crafts and purpose driven business.
- Director of Marchmont Farms Ltd., which operates Marchmont Estate, with a focus on restoring Marchmont House and bringing it back to life after a period of institutional usage.
- Former CEO of the Momondo Group which powers pioneering brands that shape and inspire global travel search.