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Visiting the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre

Volunteers talking to a resident wood carver in their studio at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre, Oxfordshire
Wood carver Tom Ball talking to visitors in his studio at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Drop in for refreshments at Blake's Kitchen and browse the Wheelwright’s second-hand bookshop in the Old Carpenters Yard. Book on to one of our courses to learn or develop heritage and rural skills. And on selected days, you can join a tour to visit parts of the Centre and enjoy exhibitions which explore the creative legacy of the Coleshill estate.

Café, bookshop and visitor information centre

The Old Carpenters Yard in Coleshill is home to Blake's Kitchen, serving cakes, savouries, sandwiches and hot food to order. It's dog friendly, with indoor and outdoor seating.

You'll also find Wheelwright's second-hand bookshop here, our visitor information room and the Old Timber Store, where you can see photos showcasing traditional skills and a display of carved timber from the estate.

Courses

We offer rare opportunities to learn directly from craft specialists, who will guide attendees through the creative process, resulting in finished piece to take home. Materials and tools are all provided in the price of the course.

We have some spaces remaining on our 2024 programme, including wood carving, block printing, and intermediate blacksmithing.

Find out more about our upcoming courses and book here.

Open days and exhibitions

We open the exhibition space and offer guided tours of the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre as part of our Coleshill Village Open Days. These take place on the second Sunday of the month from April - August, 2-5pm. We will also be taking part in Heritage Open Days in September.

Visitors looking around the exhibition in a converted farm building at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre, Oxfordshire
The exhibition space at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Current exhibition

Our current exhibition explores the legacy of the creative people who made their home on the Coleshill estate or drew inspiration from it.

Fragments salvaged from Coleshill House after it was lost to fire in 1952 reveal glimpses of the creativity and skill that went into its design and construction. Tools from the Home Farm and working estate demonstrate the innovative agricultural and rural practices carried out here.

Objects and images represent some of the artists and designers who lived and worked here, from designer William Morris to sculptor Michie Herbert. You can also discover more about the craftspeople who work from studios here today, and find out why it's so important to keep heritage skills alive.

Work tables in the teaching studio at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre, Oxfordshire

Discover more at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre

Find out when the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Find out more about hosting your workshop, lecture or meetings at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre, or rent a studio space.

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Our work at the Heritage and Rural Skills Centre 

We share and develop heritage conservation skills via beginners’ courses, space for local groups, and rental units for professional craftspeople seeking a creative community environment.