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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Historic north Cumbrian hall hosts 10 days of crafts

A 10-day craft extravaganza is being launched at an historic north Cumbrian community venue this weekend.

Dacre Hall, next to Lanercost Priory, near Brampton, will play host to the annual summer craft fair, and this year it is boasting an extra special feature for visitors to admire – the hall’s chimney mantle recently returned to its rightful place after an absence of almost 300 years.

The ornate carved oak mantel, featuring the coats of arms of Thomas Dacre and his sons, was once the focal point of the great hall. But when the last male Dacre died in 1716, it was stripped out and moved.

However, as part of a major restoration project at the hall, its return was secured back in March. Many local people and craft fair regulars will not have seen it in place, so organisers hope it will provided an added attraction at this year’s event.

More than 35 stall-holders will be at the fair, selling handmade products and unique gifts.

The organising committee will also welcome back young Cumbrian designer Amanda Mercer who is now exhibiting across the country. Her work – unique porcelain jewellery, buttons, and teacups which combine textiles, print and ceramics – has appeared in Vogue and at Liverpool Design Festival.

Cumbrian author Martin Daley, who has penned The Casebook of Inspector Armstrong and non-fiction books such as Fourth, First and Fulham, will also be at the fair with his books.

Other stall-holders will visit from as far away as Glasgow and Newcastle.

They will include jewellery makers, textile artists, bakers and cheese-makers.

The fair starts tomorrow and runs until Monday, July 30. It is open from 10am to 5.30pm and admission is 60p. Children get in free. For more information call organiser Elizabeth Harding on 016977 2538.

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