Light is shone on Staunton’s colourful past

CEREMONY Back, from left, artist Ami Lowman, Gemma Summerfield (Education Officer at Staunton), Year 4 pupils from Barncroft School, Councillor Liz Fairhurst and Councillor Yvonne Weeks
CEREMONY Back, from left, artist Ami Lowman, Gemma Summerfield (Education Officer at Staunton), Year 4 pupils from Barncroft School, Councillor Liz Fairhurst and Councillor Yvonne Weeks
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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A SPLASH of colour and a dose of history has been added to Staunton Country Park by primary schoolchildren.

Pupils from four schools worked with park staff to design beautiful stained glass windows for the park’s Gothic Library.

The Grade II listed Victorian building was used by Sir George Staunton to keep all of his books and belongings from his travels to China and Europe.

The project, called Windows Into The Past, aimed to engage schoolchildren with the history of the park and Sir George, as well as leaving their artistic footprint on the building for years to come.

Children from Front Lawn Academy, Emsworth Primary, Barncroft Primary and St Thomas More’s were given a tour of the park and told about the history of the park’s founder.

A Year 4 class from Barncroft was the first to see the new windows

Kerry Bailey, park manager, said: ‘The stained glass windows look amazing. It’s the first step of love and attention for the library.’

Gemma Summerfield, education officer at Staunton, said: ‘Over 200 children from the local schools came into the park to get inspiration and they all drew aspects of the park. We then worked with stained glass specialist Helen Thomson who incorporated the children’s drawings.’

The children based their designs around four main themes: China because Sir George met the Chinese Emperor; books and treasures as it was his library; plants as he was a botanist and the estate and follies which highlight the extensive grounds of the park.

Leigh Park county councillor Liz Fairhurst said: ‘The windows are fantastic – it makes the building more alive. The library has a long way to go to be restored but it is getting there.’

Dharielle Wilds, nine, said: ‘I like the stained glass windows, they look amazing with the sun shining.’

Artist Ami Lowman, who held workshops with the children, said: ‘It’s definitely the start of more to come in the Gothic library.’