A derelict building on the exit from Avebury Manor which has been closed to visitors and staff for many years is set to be brought back to life. The National Trust plan to refurbish the old potting shed and use it to tell the story of Avebury Manor Garden.

The potting shed was built about 100 years ago. From old maps it’s clear that previous buildings were on or near this site although their purpose remains unknown. It is possible that at one time a building close to here was used as a domestic dairy.

Today the potting shed is in urgent need of repair – the roof is collapsing and large tree roots are damaging the walls. Once the building works have been completed the space will be used for displays about the historic garden story as well as ‘how to guides’ and seasonal highlights from the garden team.

Most importantly the space will be open to visitors so that they can experience this part of Avebury’s rich story.

Hazel Barry-Scott, Senior Visitor Experience Officer at Avebury said: ‘The garden at Avebury has such a lovely history and we want to share more of this with our visitors. The work of the garden team today is also really interesting and we’re imagining seasonal display in the potting shed which will bring this work to life.’

Simon Brooks, Head Gardener at Avebury said: ‘Bringing another part of the garden back to life is an exciting opportunity. It will provide a dedicated space to tell the story of the garden, enable authentic storage of produce from the Kitchen Garden, overwintering of plants and practical demonstrations of horticultural techniques and skills.’

To be able to fulfil this vision, the team at Avebury are fundraising through the sale of raffle tickets at Avebury between now and October. Last year the raffle raised over £11,000 for the Alexander Keiller drawing office project, which means that the Trust can now refurbish the famous archaeologist’s drawing office, showing visitors how it was used in the 1930’s; work will continue on this project throughout 2018. This year the team are hoping to do the same for the potting shed.

This level of fundraising relies on a fantastic team of volunteers who sell tickets and chat to visitors about the exciting plans. The team at Avebury would love for more volunteers to help bring this historic building back to life, so if you think you can help please get in touch by emailing fraser.normington@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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