Baynton House open gardens fundraising event boosted by link with murder mystery (From Wiltshire Times)
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Baynton House open gardens fundraising event boosted by link with murder mystery
7:00pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
An open gardens event at the historic and Grade-II listed Baynton House raised £2,500 on Sunday, with the funds going towards the refurbishment of nearby Coulston Village Hall.
An estimated 400 people attended the horticultural event in the village, near Westbury, for a rare chance to explore the eight-acre grounds with its two lakes and a Welsh cottage.
Highlights included a display of classic British cars, a wool spinning demonstration, musical performances and art exhibitions.
Andrew Buley, the Coulston Village Hall chairman, said: “We are absolutely delighted with what was a fantastic event, which brought the village together.
“It was a tremendous effort and we started to get a little worried that we wouldn’t have enough car parking spaces at one point.”
The 17th-century building was home to the Kent family in the 1800s.
It was after they moved to Road Hill House, in Rode, that their new home became infamous following the murder of Francis “Saville” Kent, the four-year-old son found dead on June 30, 1860.
The child is buried in the churchyard of St Thomas A Becket Church, Coulston and the case featured in the novel The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House, which was later made into a television drama.
Mr Buley said: “We had a few people come down who were fascinated by the novel and wanted to learn more about the Kent family.”
The project to modernise Coulston Village Hall is expected to cost about £20,000. The group behind the plans will be applying to Westbury Area Board for a grant to support the work.
Anyone who wants to organise a fundraising event for the project can contact Mr Buley on 07973 346262.