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24 November 2020

Trials and Triumphs of 2020


Although the circumstances this year scuppered a lot of our planned events, exhibitions and entertainment, we’re of all that we have endeavoured to achieve. 

Adhering to ever changing government guidelines has been challenging and at times all-consuming but a great education nonetheless.

Recovering from the lost revenue due to closures will take some time but being able to attract visitors when we have been open has reaffirmed that exploring our Grounds, Stables and Hall is truly a great way to spend the day. 

Raising the profile of Burton Constable Hall & Grounds

Not only has the global pandemic realigned a lot of people’s perspectives, it has also adjusted many lifestyles too. Certain restrictions and regulations have forced people to explore closer to home in search of essential exercise and entertainment.

Despite Burton Constable being a visitor attraction open to the general public of Hull and East Yorkshire for almost 30 years, many of our local visitors admit to never having visited before. 

It’s fantastic that new audiences are now finding us. Be it through pandemic related searches for ‘things to do in Hull’, good old word of mouth or our digital media and other advertising efforts, we have seen a positive number of visitors compared with last year. Our stalwart core of repeated visitors such as our Annual Pass holders have been both a reassuringly constant presence and a key source of income, and we’ve been glad to be able to repay their loyalty by extending their annual passes to compensate for the times when we’ve been unable to welcome them. 

Considering we’ve been closed completely for certain periods throughout the year and had restricted offerings for the times we have been open, we’re delighted that our visitors (old and new) have been able to enjoy what we have worked so hard to offer them. 

Highlights would have to include ‘Live on the Lawn’ (which almost reduced BBC Radio Humberside’s David Burns to tears) and our recent Halloween celebrations. Both events allowed visitors to descend on Burton Constable for some much needed entertainment, but they also gave many artists, performers and industry folk alike the opportunity to work again. The gratitude and feedback of those individuals, alongside the general public, will stay with us for some time. 

Rising numbers in visitor attractions 

Visit Britain’s analysis reveals that visitor numbers for attractions in England have steadily been rising for the last few years. Our sector (Historic Houses & Gardens) benefited from an overall 5% rise in 2019; - Burton Constable even exceeded this slightly by achieving a 6% spike compared to 2018.

This year was set to follow on trend until Covid-19 intervened. Having said that, perhaps for some of the reasons alluded to above, we have had some pleasingly positive results. 

Between the months of July and October, in comparison to the same period last year, we saw a 15.4% increase in visitors to our Grounds. Our Halloween week alone witnessed a 66.2% rise in total visitors and our Annual Pass memberships have risen by 11.8% this year to date. 

Visiting Burton Constable Hall & Grounds

Hopefully, there’ll still be time for you to visit in what remains of 2020. Christmas is usually one of our most celebrated occasions and we’re working hard to re-open in time to celebrate with you. 

In years gone by, we’d be currently spending the 3 week closure of the House cleaning and decorating it in Christmas splendour. This year the uncertainties mean we can’t promise anything; we’re hoping we’ll be open again soon in some capacity. 

Meanwhile, you can uncover our fascinating history, explore the intriguing collections and take the House Tour all from the comfort of your own home. Granted it’s not quite the same experience as exploring for yourself whilst absorbing the remarkable knowledge our house guides and volunteers, but hopefully it will help prepare you for the wonders that await when we can once again open our doors to you!. 

Our Grounds have proven popular through each season so far, and winter is another wonderful time to see our surroundings in a different light. During the first lockdown our team (small as they are) placed a lot of energy into making sure our outdoor spaces were accessible, and we’re aiming to do the same again as soon as possible. 

Earlier in the year, we strived to improve our Walks & Trails, in recognition of the need for wellbeing in these peculiar times. In doing so, we further identified ways we wish to provide you with further information regarding the wildlife, nature and history of our parkland - watch out for an update on this soon!

Testing times for small businesses and other organisations 

Closures have become commonplace in most industries. A lot of them are permanent and many places may never recover. Livelihoods and careers have been impacted and although we have celebrated some small successes during this period, we have felt the effects of Covid-19 like many other establishments. 

As a charitable foundation, it is our obligation to preserve and share this wonderful historical site with you all. That’s why your visits are so important to us. You help us keep our history alive in Hull and East Yorkshire for thousands of people to enjoy each year and we still hope to be one of the most visited visitor attractions in the region for years to come! 

Why not look for other similar organisations in our region and show your support? Investigate our partners Historic Houses and Yorkshire’s Great Castle’s Houses and Gardens for more ideas!

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Did you know?
Afternoon tea was created by the Duchess of Bedford in the late 18th century. She invited friends to join her for an afternoon meal of small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, sweets and, of course, tea. The practice was so popular that it was quickly adopted by other social hostesses 
Over 80 different species of birds have been spotted at Burton Constable, from the smallest British bird, the Goldcrest, to large birds of prey such as Buzzards and Barn Owls

The Burton Constable Whale is featured in Herman Melville's famous novel Moby Dick. 

Today the Burton Constable Whale is nicknamed 'Constable Moby'