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Meet new faces at Old Hall's festive craft fair

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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New faces will contrast with old favourites when an iconic West Lindsey landmark plays host to the most traditional of festive family days out.

The organisers of the Gainsborough Old Hall Victorian Christmas craft fair have pulled out all the stops to contrast new attractions with established favourites.

More than 40 different craft exhibitors are lined up for each day of the fair.

And the punch will be flowing, the fires glowing and the musicians blowing to recreate the Victorian era – in a 550-year-old medieval manor house.

The truth is that the unique building was 'home' to many families down the years – and in Victorian times Christmas was a very important celebration.

It is one of the best preserved timber-framed manor houses in the UK – and has welcomed Richard III, Henry VII and John Wesley among its VIP visitors.

Now it is owned by English Heritage – but managed and staffed by the heritage department of Lincolnshire County Council.

"There will be costumed characters, beautiful, unusual and unique gifts for all the family and many breathtaking new traditional crafts in their first ever year at the Old Hall," said site manager Victoria Mason.

"The Victorian craft fair is the annual opportunity to visit this medieval manor house in all its festive glory.

"We're inviting all our visitors to get into the Christmas spirit as a whole host of the region's most talented artists and crafters unveil their handiwork.

"This year we're delighted to present the new café and shop area – plus new areas of the house opened up for the first time for visitors to explore."

Ms Mason said that there was an emphasis on hand-made crafts, with many different people taking part on the two separate days of the fair.

Entertainment will also include music by the Gamebirds and Beekeepers folk harmony group on the first day – when the Ginger Garland Dancers are performing.

Gainsborough Amateur Operatic Society are 'on duty' on both days, alongside Old Hall staff musicians and staff in the medieval kitchen.

The fair is on Saturday and Sunday, November 24 and 25, from 10am until 5pm.

Admission is just £1, instead of the usual £6 hall entry fee.

For more information visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/ gainsborougholdhall

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