The house and gardens closed on 29th October 2012
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SHARING THE BEAUTY OF ARUNDELLS
After our guided tours have ended, nearly all of our visitors tell us how much they have enjoyed the tour, giving them a completely new perspective on the owner, changing and enhancing their view of his personality, and what he achieved in his long and varied career.
He would be thrilled and proud that the details of his life were being discussed in this positive way.
I think this is just as Sir Edward Heath would have wanted it, along with the visitors' opportunity to 'share the beauty of Arundells', the beautiful two acre garden with its quintessentially English outlook, his fascinating, revealing, and personal art collection, sailing and musical memorabilia, and the homely lived-in aspect of the house itself.
I don't believe that he would have envisaged that just under 50,000 people have been delighted in taking the opportunity to visit Arundells in the 5 years of our opening. He would be thrilled of course with the outcome and renewed interest in his home and eventful life. This feedback makes it so worthwhile and rewarding for all of us, and it is clear from the comments that the visitors loved to be welcomed into the house and be given a personal and informative tour of it.
My wonderful and knowledgeable guides and I have been privileged to show off this beautiful house and its contents, being informative about the details, and relating stories, anecdotes, and also to hear laughter and conversation reverberating around the rooms, bringing his home to life. Our friendly, welcoming and intimate tours were appreciated by all our visitors (if the visitors' book, emails and letters were anything to go by!), and return visits were frequent. The interior and feel of the house itself has been retained as he lived in it, and indeed almost as it was when he first moved here in 1985.
The Trustees of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation gave me the task of fulfilling this part of his Will in opening the house to the public, and I have been very proud to be part of its success. I have learnt so much myself over the years working at Arundells, and met so many interesting people, that it has become a real pleasure to share my experiences with our new visitors.
I was initially employed by Sir Edward in an horticultural capacity to redesign the gardens when he moved here in 1985. Arriving with a strong and enthusiastic background as a musician and also in art history, I remained working for him assuming many 'hats' right up to his passing in 2005.
I would like to thank everyone concerned with the critical success of our brief opening to the house and garden, which all our visitors have described as a fascinating and richly memorable visit, and as Sir Edward generously quoted: 'to share the beauty of Arundells'.