CHILDREN from a primary school in Ruthin are following the renovation of a country estate as part of their history lessons.

Pupils from Ysgol Gellifor have been invited to make regular trips to Pool Park Estate to explore its exciting past and to watch its transformation as it is carefully restored.

Pool Park Estate, which has a history dating back centuries, is owned by Andrew Godfrey of the Godfrey Group, who is restoring a number of properties on the estate for leisure and hospitality purposes.

The 26-acre grounds contain a manor house dating back to 1824 with links to famous 17th century architect Inigo Jones, a coaching house still with the original ornate oak stalls carved for the estate’s horses, and an unusual thermally-heated walled kitchen garden, popular in the 18th century.

The estate was once a deer park for Ruthin Castle, and the current site was originally built for the Bagot family, who to this day still have their principal residence at Blithfield in Staffordshire.

As part of their local learning, children from reception, year one and year two explored Pool Park Forest accompanied by Andrew’s wife, Louisa Godfrey, a former headteacher.

They found out about the history of the estate and the two ornately carved life-sized wooden angels which stand at the head of the staircase.

Ben Lindquist, headteacher at Ysgol Gellifor, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the school which offers our children some quite unique experiential learning opportunities.”

Teacher Katherine MacCarter, who has organised a number of trips to Pool Park Estate, said: “The children are loving their visits to Pool Park Estate and have asked lots of questions about the manor house and who lived there.

“They’ve taken photographs, explored the forest and we’re currently following up our findings with a number of school projects including writing creative stories about a discovery in the forest, making our own clay angels inspired by the house’s staircase angels and designing new panelling for the interiors.

“It’s a unique opportunity for the children to experience something like this and Louisa Godfrey, being a former headteacher, knew exactly how to stimulate the children’s curiosity.


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“Experiences like these really bring learning to life and our visit has taken us in more directions than I ever intended due to the children’s enthusiasm. Learning outside the classroom can deliver a wide range of learning outcomes, and Pool Park certainly delivered this. We can’t wait to come back as a whole school.”

School pupil Ralph Kinsey, aged seven, said: "I loved Pool Park Estate, it was amazing."

Mason Brookes-West, aged seven, said: "I can’t wait to go back again and to find out more.”

Andrew Godfrey, managing director of the Godfrey Group, said: “We’re delighted that the children from Ysgol Gellifor are as fascinated as us with what we’re doing at Pool Park Estate. It’s really bringing history to life for them.

“Our plan is to restore the Estate to its prime. The craftsmanship on the estate is incredible, from the old-fashioned stalls and stables to the exquisite oak panelling in the entrance hall.

“We’ve uncovered beautiful old footbridges and stone walls, an 11th century Celtic throne and found the steps where every generation of the Bagot family would have been photographed with their staff.”