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SPAB Working Party Public Open Day 2023

Boxley Abbey, Sandling, Maidstone ME14 3BT
Date and Time
9 July
10:30am - 4:00pm

Event details

Take a look behind the scenes of this year’s Working Party at our free Open Day on Sunday 9th July.

You’ll see building conservation in action and learn more about Boxley Abbey and the SPAB’s Old House Project.

Visits begin with an introductory talk on the Working Party and the Old House Project from SPAB Director, Matthew Slocombe.

You will then then be guided around Boxley Abbey and the Old House Project, meet our specialists, watch live demonstrations and see repair work in action. From building repairs to archaeological investigations and from lime burning to leaded light repairs, there's plenty going on this year.

There will also be a fleet of classic cars parked outside Boxley Abbey, courtesy of the Lancia Motor Club, who are joining us for the day.

Morning Visit
10.30 - 11am: arrival and registration
11 - 11.30am: introductory talk
11.30am - 1pm: guided tour
1 - 2pm: BYO picnic lunch in the beautiful Boxley Abbey grounds (please note lunch is not provided and catering is not available on site)
Please sign out at reception on departure.

Afternoon Visit
1 - 2pm: arrival and registration (you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the beautiful Boxley Abbey grounds)
2 - 2.30pm: introductory talk
2.30 - 4pm: guided tour
Please sign out at reception on departure.

Note that timings are subject to slight change.

Book your free ticket for your morning or afternoon visit now! Advance booking essential.

Health and Safety
Please be aware that this is a working construction site, with uneven ground, limited shelter and various hazards, including pits, sharp tools and lime mortar.
You must wear sturdy footwear (walking boots or similar are recommended) and clothing for the weather. You may be asked to wear hard hats during parts of the tour.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility of the site: working.party@spab.org.uk

Parking is available on site (in fields). Please help us manage the space by sharing lifts, walking, or taking public transport where you can. The closest train stations are in Maidstone, about 10 minutes away by taxi.
We have a small number of disabled parking spaces available at the Hospitium. Please make your need known to a parking steward as you enter the site to be directed to these spaces.

Toilets are available, including an accessible toilet.

There is no catering available on site – please bring your own snacks and picnic lunch to enjoy in the beautiful Boxley Abbey grounds.

Please bring your own water.

Children are welcome but must be accompanied by adults at all times and not left unattended.

Well-behaved dogs are also welcome but must be kept on a short lead at all times.Be aware that there are horses, sheep and the owners' dog (Bolt) across the sites, in addition to the hazards mentioned above.

About Boxley Abbey
Boxley Abbey is a former monastic site near Maidstone in Kent. A remarkable survival, it is one of the most complete of the group of Cistercian abbeys which were established as daughter houses by larger monasteries. Above-ground remains include fragments of the church and cloister, the high stone wall and gateway surrounding a 23-acre inner precinct, and the intact 200ft-long ‘hospitium’. The whole inner precinct, aside from the Abbey House and its garden walls, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

About St Andrew's (former) Chapel

St Andrew's (former) Chapel is a fascinating building just within the abbey's outer precinct which was purchased by the SPAB at the end of 2018. Although the role and history of this structure are still being explored by the Society, it seems to date from the 15th century and to have been built as a reliquary chapel. We hope to uncover some of this building's secrets as part of the Working Party and to get the public involved with our larger Old House Project, which is based at St Andrew's.

About the SPAB Working Party
Carrying out work to a specific building is where the SPAB community demonstrates its approach to the conservation and care of old buildings, allowing us to combine well-proven principles with practical repair techniques. SPAB working parties provide participants of all levels, from informed amateurs interested in buildings and history to heritage and architectural professionals, to work alongside the country’s best craftspeople.

Event organiser is SPAB.

Disclaimer: All information was correct when the listing was prepared. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.

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