Ormesby hall – see it, smell it, feel it … paint it

Local talented artist James McGairy is all set to rejuvenate artistic traditions at Ormesby Hall, the National Trust, by setting up painting workshops this summer in the gardens and grounds.

 Inspired by the tranquil rural setting of the Hall and estate on the edge of urban Teesside, local people will have the chance to rediscover and develop their artistic talents in 2012.

 Liz Hayward, Learning & Access Manager for the National Trust at Ormesby, says:

‘We are very pleased to support artist James McGairy and his clients as they refresh a tradition which has its roots way back in the generations of the Pennyman’s who used to live here up until the 1980s. Since early Victorian times the family have displayed their artistic talents in sketching, watercolour studies and even theatrical design work. Course attendees will, I’m sure, enjoy the chance to switch off from the bustle of daily life to concentrate on artworks in the tranquillity of the gardens, as the Pennymans themselves used to.

James McGairy says, ‘I am really excited at the prospect of painting in the gardens at Ormesby Hall. I see it as a great opportunity to make the most of this gem on the outskirts ofMiddlesbrough. It will be truly inspirational to be immersed in the delightful gardens at Ormesby Hall. There is no doubt that painting with the subject in front of you is unbeatable, not only do you see it, you can smell and feel it. We will be continuing the artistic legacy of generations of the Pennyman family, especially Mrs Ruth Pennyman.

Mark Whyman, local historian and author of The Last Pennymans of Ormesby Hall says, ‘Ruth Pennyman devoted her life to a passionate involvement with the Arts. She laid the foundations for the development of the Arts on Teesside. She herself was a trained artist ofSt John’sCollegeof Art inLondonand a talented designer.’

Nick Dolan, Property Manager for Ormesby Hall says, ‘There is so much rich history here in the activities of the Ormesby Arts Club, which sadly folded in the 1970s, including theatre, music and poetry as well as fine art. Ruth Pennyman continued her enthusiastic involvement in drama and poetry till the end of her life. The National Trust is keen to revive all this artistic activity in the local community and so welcome this initiative in the National Trust’s 50th Year here. There will be other Arts activities all summer, including a Poetry workshop and Drama in the Hall, as well as the Roseberry Ceramics Group summer exhibition here in August.’

 Workshop dates

Saturday  9th. June  2012       10am.  –  4pm.


Saturday  7th. July  2012         10am.  –  4pm.


Friday 28th. September 2012  10am.  –  4pm.


Each workshop is from10am until 4 pm.Workshops are with acrylic paint.

There are eight places per workshop and the price per person is £45.00, which includes materials, paint and boards, as well as use of brushes, palettes and easels. Light lunch and refreshments are included. Painting will take place within the gardens or, if the weather is unfavourable, in the Resource Base located near the Stables.


Course/contact details for James McGairy:


Telephone                  01287 610083

Mobile                        07931 624181

email            jmcgairy@btinternet.com

website          http://www.jamesmcgairy-artist.com


  • Images shows artist James McGairy already at work on a view of the Hall from the south garden and the resulting artwork.


  • Ormesby Hall, the National Trust, can be visited by the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 1.30-5.00, normal admission applies (NT members FREE) for those wishing to visit inside the Hall. Gardens and Tea Room free entry to all when open.

Groups may hire the Resource Base room for similar activities.


  • Roseberry Ceramics Summer Show – ‘Golden Celebration’ from 4th–27th August.


For more information, interviews or images please contact:

Phil Burton




For more information on the National Trust at Ormesby Hall please log onto www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ormesby2012


email us on ormesbyhall@nationaltrust.org.uk


or call 01642 328188

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