Photos courtesy of 78 Derngate and Rob Tysall
Changes coming to the famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh house, 78 Derngate, Ann Evans reports.
Following on from last Monday’s article on 78 Derngate, the only Charles Rennie Mackintosh house in England, we hear that the house is to be further extended to cope with the increasing number of visitors.
The famous house, which was originally a 4-storey Georgian terraced house was owned by local businessman and model maker, W.J.Bassett-Lowke (1877-1953). In 1917 he commissioned renown Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) to redesign the house in his own unique and stunning style.
Years later, a National Lottery grant enabled a band of enthusiasts to return the house to how it was in those glorious days of the early 20th century as well as purchasing the two houses alongside – numbers 80 and 82 to provide the space for the visitors’ centre, museum and restaurant. It has been open to the public since November 2003 and on average sees around 9,000 visitors per year. However, they would very much like to see an increase in those numbers.
To that end, Friends of 78 Derngate have agreed with the Trust that the supporting building with exhibition areas, café, shop and volunteers’ room, number 82, originally a Regency house, should be further extended by a new enlarged atrium based on the original John McAslan designs, in order to have a larger exhibition and visitor area.
78 Derngate Northampton Trust is a self-funded charity who are trying to now raise £200k to match the £200k that the Northampton Borough Council has generously pledged. To try and achieve this they have sent out an appeal to many of the groups of visitors who have come into the house, as well as individual visitors and those, of course, who are Mackintosh aficionados!
As part of the added value of any individual or organisation, that makes a donation of at least £100 or more they will have the opportunity to be celebrated for supporting the appeal, by having their name engraved on the glass of the new extension.
Should anyone feel they would like to support the Friends of 78 Derngate and help to celebrate the experience of the Mackintosh house then they can click on www.78derngate.org.uk/appealforfunds
All the donations are commission-free so the whole amount goes to the 78 Derngate fund.