Make your mark on the Field of Play
We're a year into the process of developing this much loved play space at Attingham. We've received funding from Cadbury and commissioned Walter Jack Studios who have created 'Guilloche' - a long term blueprint for the future design of the field.
With over 440,000 people visiting Attingham each year, the Field of Play at Attingham is a well-loved play space. Initially opened in 2012 the field at the edge of the Walled Garden has always been a ‘work in progress’ with play equipment and play areas added to it over the recent years.
The plan: ‘guilloche’
In 2017, Walter Jack Studios, worked alongside the team at Attingham to come up with a new creative idea for the Field of Play. Visiting regularly, listening and talking to staff and visitors, Walter Jack Studios proposed ‘Guilloche’.
Attingham’s Field of Play, also known as the Shoulder of Mutton, has experienced thousands of years of ‘mark making’, creating patterns on its surface, whether from the ancient ridge and furrow, the ploughed lines of modern agriculture or the white lines of a rounders’ pitch.
Inspired by the infinite interconnecting circles of the guilloche pattern, found inside the Mansion at Attingham on stone work, gilding, plaster and textiles, over 30 linked circles will be marked out across the entire field, in white line marking paint. This will create a series of circular spaces for activities to take place, and for families to play within, or ‘without’ as they explore the space. The white lines will fade in and out on the field over time, with the weather, when the grass is cut.
" We use the pattern to create shape, boundary, play and interest in the field. But it does not constrain us because the pattern is a layer that can be used or ignored, worn away and re-discovered."
What's changed in the Field of Play?
If you've visited over the past year you might have noticed a few changes to the field as we began to include the new ideas for the space.
As part of the work we measured and marked lines, and built new willow tunnels with the help of local schools and volunteers. A local school and various community groups who use the field helped us form our plans by telling us what they love about it, how they like to play in it and what they thought of the new ideas.
How you 'made a mark' on the plans
Last July (2017) we headed up to the field to talk to visitors about the first stage of the plans, what we’d been doing in the field over the past few months and gave families an opportunity to ‘make their mark’.
A whole range of activities took place across the weekend, including, storytelling, parachute games, races, mini shelter building, and making a willow wall. Families were able to talk to the Attingham Team as well as Paul and Walter from Walter Jack Studios about the first stage of the design — “Guilloche”.
You can see more of the weekend in our film below:
Using feedback from the weekend, an online survey open for responses in August 2017, and consultations with local schools and community groups we've identified priority areas for development in the field this year and beyond.
We're looking at improving accessibility by hard surfacing a selection of the guilloche paths. We're focusing on providing shelter in the field for windy, sunny, and rainy days. We'll be introducing more 'Guilloche' play with more grass mounding throughout the field.
This will always remain a natural play space, with areas of play for different ages spread throughout the field, and plenty of space to run around and explore. Look out for ways to get involved with helping us plant and build throughout the year. We don't plan to close the field while the work takes place, but there may be times when access is restricted to certain areas.
Like you, we love the Field of Play! We're excited to be developing the space, if you'd like to get in touch with us about the work please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org