Former village school helps out Ford Castle
The Lady Waterford Hall in Ford took a step back in time recently, accommodating around 250 school children over a three-week period for their breakfast, lunch and tea.
The children were on residential visits to Ford Castle which, operated by Ford Castle Adventure Ltd, offers outdoor educational trips for schools from across the country.
During the last week of February and first two weeks of March, as part of an extensive programme of ongoing repair and restoration work, the castle kitchens were closed.
Hungry children on adventure holidays need to be fed, so the Lady Waterford Hall offered the use of its kitchen and main hall to prepare and serve the children’s meals – something of which Louisa Waterford would surely have approved.
The hall was built in 1860 as the village school by Louisa Anne, Marchioness of Waterford, owner of Ford Estate. In its heyday it had as many as 134 local children on the register.
Nowadays it is a multi-purpose building open to the public as a museum and gallery and well known for its unique murals, as well as serving as the village hall.
Laura, Ford Castle Adventure centre manager, said: “The children gained such a lot from the time they spent in the Lady Waterford Hall, returning to the castle in the evenings to draw pictures and portraits inspired by the artworks they saw there and talking about how life might have been in a 19th century school.
“We thank the Lady Waterford Hall Trust for this fantastic opportunity.”