7 time winner of the Sandford award

Holdenby House has been awarded the prestigious Sandford Award for Heritage Education for a record 7th time, which is more than any other historic house in the whole of the UK.

Holdenby was also the only house to win the inaugural Francis Garnham award, for the innovative way in which the education programme is delivered.

The awards were presented this morning at Holdenby by Daventry MP The Hon Chris Heaton Harris and Northamptonshire Deputy Lieutenant Deirdre Newham.

Holdenby’s unique way of teaching children about the past through costumed Living History, has attracted over a ¼ of a million school children since it started in 1985 and has received unique national recognition.

Whether dressed in Downton Style pinnies, being put through a day as a Victorian Servant by the formidable Mrs Bumbridge, or dressed as a 1940’s evacuee from London, learning to cook Wootton Pie with Mrs North, school children get an unforgettable experience of history by living through it.

Presenting the award today, The Hon Chris Heaton Harris said “With this award, Holdenby has achieved something that no other historic property in the country can boast – the leading position in the whole country for heritage education – something which the house and the whole county can truly celebrate. But what we can also celebrate, even more importantly, is what Holdenby has given to ¼ million children who have been through its doors – not just a fascinating day but a better understanding of history of the country in which they were born.”

The Owner of Holdenby, James Lowther said “No child can fully understand the present in which they live if they have no conception of the past from which it was born.  I am proud, that Holdenby and Northamptonshire are leading the country in this innovative inspiring way of teaching our children.


Holdenby was once the palace and prison of Charles I. I am happy that 330 years later, we are still in a small way making history.

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