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Sand House charity brings Doncaster heritage into focus

Doncaster's former Victorian marvel the Sand House
Doncaster's former Victorian marvel the Sand House

A Doncaster-based charity has revealed exciting plans for activities in the town after receiving £3,900 from the Heritage lottery Fund.

The Sand House Charity project aims to create an exhibition with a range of display materials for continuing educational use. It will also deliver sand modelling sessions for families, illustrated talks and guided walks, all relating to Doncaster’s former Victorian marvel, the Sand House.

The Sand House was a unique mansion-sized dwelling whose walls were carved from solid sandstone. It stood a short distance from Doncaster town centre.

This news comes just weeks after the charity announced a £23,483 grant from Arts Council England for a Sand House play at Cast, in Doncaster, in June.

The money from Heritage Lottery Fund enables The Sand House Charity to provide a range of high quality events and activities before, during and after the play’s run, designed to share and celebrate the story of a unique feature of Doncaster’s past.

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and the Humber, David Renwick, said: “Stories of the Sand House, where interconnecting tunnels and intricate carvings capture the imagination, will be brought to life for more people to discover.”

He added: “Thanks to National Lottery players a series of events and hands on activities will allow local people to engage with the history of the Sand House during the play and beyond.”

The free Sand House exhibition will be staged at Cast throughout May and June and will be enhanced during that time with material obtained through the project’s other activities. The resources displayed in the exhibition will have a lasting legacy, being lent to schools, museums and other organisations for ongoing educational purposes.

The sand modelling sessions are also free and will take place on May 31, and June 1, 2, 8 and

9 in the Central Children’s Library, Doncaster. Through these sessions, children and parents alike will be introduced to the subject of the Sand House, while having fun making their own sand carvings.

Illustrated talks at Cast on June 14 will tell the definitive story of the Sand House, from its origins in the first half of the 19th century through to its eventual demise.

Speaking about the award, Chairman of trustees, Richard Bell said: “We are thrilled to have received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to share this little-known but amazing story with the people of Doncaster”.