Colonial Countryside

Activities and events

Eight children posing for a photo outside a country house.What have we done so far?

  • Year one (2018): country house visits, writing workshops, publication of leaflets, research by 10 commissioned writers, children’s conference.
  • Year two (2019): public speaking workshops, Massive Online Open Course for writers and heritage professionals, exhibition preparation in National Trust houses.
  • Year three (2020): appearances at literature festivals and black history month events by children, historians and writers, launch of project books.
  • Years four and five (2021-2022): child advisory boards and project historians assist the National Trust with further research, training and reinterpretation projects on the theme of colonial legacies.

What have the 100 children done so far?

The 100 children across the schools linked with Colonial Countryside have been involved in various projects in connection with the houses they have visited.

Historians have found that as many as one in every six British country houses is connected to the history of empire. Charlecote Park in Warwickshire is no exception. Ten children from Colmore Primary in Birmingham explored this National Trust house with the historian Kate Donington and the writer SuAndi.

Find some examples of the creative writing produced by the children. Including a poem written by Lana and an essay written by Theo in response to a question posed as the children looked at a painting of Captain Thomas Lucy: 'but who is the black page boy wearing the metal collar, standing by his horse?'


All our future events will be listed on the Centre for New Writing events page. You can also keep up to date with our events by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Children's Conference 2018

On 16th November we held our first 'Children's Conference' at the Church of St James the Greater in Leicester. Teachers, historians and National Trust staff and volunteers heard about four National Trust houses with connections to the British Empire.

40 primary school children from Wheelers Lane Primary and Colmore Junior School presented on the colonial connections of Kedleston Hall, Charlecote Park, Wightwick Manor and Calke Abbey.

Comments from some of the children at the conference

I feel much more confident talking to large audiences.

From being part of the Colonial Countryside project, I now find history more interesting. I have also found that putting thoughts with facts, can come together as a really interesting and inspiring essay/text.

I like the fact that people are starting to look into black history not just white history. Also it is great because we don't do much history at school.

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