Ballard School Heritage Day Brings History to Life

7th August 2017

Regiment based at Ballard School

On Saturday, September 9th, Ballard School in the New Forest will open its doors to visitors for tours of the house and grounds, including a special WW2 exhibition, as part of the national Heritage Open Days Festival.
Ballard School in the New Forest has a modern, forward-thinking approach to education but it also has a rich and colourful history going back to the turn of the 20th century. On Saturday 9th September, as part of the national Heritage Open Days festival, Ballard will welcome visitors from 9.30am – 12.30pm for tours of the school building with a particular focus on its role during WW2.

Ballard School was built as a country residence, Great Ballard House, for the Ubsdell family in the early 1900s and retains many of its original Arts and Crafts period features including beautiful fireplaces with original tile surrounds. During the war years, at least 5 battalions were stationed at Great Ballard including the Lancashire Fusiliers 2nd Battalion, the Green Howards and the 7th Wiltshire Regiment. The Open Day will include an exhibition of photographs and records of the time plus detailed information of some of the officers stationed there.

Alastair Reid, Headmaster, said:

“We took part in the Heritage Open Days Festival last year and had a wonderful day. It was extremely gratifying that we had so many visitors from the immediate area who had lived here all their lives but had never before been into Ballard or its grounds.  We believe this year’s special WW2 focus will attract even more interest. It has certainly given us the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history of this impressive building and estate. We would love to hear from local people about any connection they may have with the Great Ballard Estate during this time to add to our own information.”

Tours of the house and exhibition will be led by staff and alumni of the school who have a special interest in its history and that of the surrounding area. There will be four free tours starting at 9.30am. The day was extremely well-attended last year so it’s advisable, although not essential, to book a place in advance. There will be refreshments available and visitors will be able to sample some of the foods that would have been typical of the war years.

For more information or to book a place on one of the tours, email alix.stockwell@ballardschool.co.uk or call 01425 626900.

Ballard is an independent, family school welcoming children from Nursery to GCSE and is situated on the edge of the New Forest National Park. For more information, visit: http://www.ballardschool.co.uk/

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Every year for four days in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history.