Recitals raise funds to restore royal paintings

Lady Townshend at Raynham Hall with two Royal portraits dating back to 1646 of (L) Princess Elizabet

Lady Townshend at Raynham Hall with two Royal portraits dating back to 1646 of (L) Princess Elizabeth and Princess Henrietta. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Concert-goers will help raise funds to restore priceless 17th century oil paintings at a Norfolk stately home.

Lady Townshend at Raynham Hall with two Royal portraits dating back to 1646 of (L) Princess Elizabet

Lady Townshend at Raynham Hall with two Royal portraits dating back to 1646 of (L) Princess Elizabeth and Princess Henrietta. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Charles Townshend, Eighth Marquess Townshend and his wife Alison, Lady Townshend, have devoted the past five years to repairing and restoring artworks and decor at Raynham Hall, near Fakenham.

Now they hope to raise £48,000 to research, identify and restore three portraits which depict the children of Charles I.

Lady Townshend has spent many hours piecing together the more obscure aspect of the family history and detecting likenesses to identify previously unknown portraits at Raynham.

'Aristocratic families used portraits in their homes to show off their wealth and privilege through their ancestors and connections like a 17th century Facebook and these portraits are invaluable to both Raynham Hall and our national heritage,' she said.

'More importantly we should never ignore or forget what happens to children in times of social and political upheaval.

'The sad and haunting eyes of the two little princesses are unforgettable and take us back to the Civil War faster than the written word.'

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Money to fund these renovation projects is being raised by bringing a series of world class musicians to perform recitals in the house's ornate Marble Hall.

Internationally-acclaimed musicians Rachel Podger (violin) and Maggie Cole (fortepiano) will be performing on Saturday, September 17 (6.30pm), with tickets for the evening costing £50.

Rachel Podger has established herself as a leading interpreter of the Baroque and Classical periods and has recently won a 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Award.

Maggie Cole is internationally acclaimed for her performances and recordings on harpsichord, fortepiano and piano.

For the September recital, the musicians have chosen a selection of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Guests will be able to picnic on the south lawn of the house – weather permitting – or book seats for dinner in its state dining room. Raynham's very own Grand Cru Champagne will also be available.

• To book or for further information, go online to www.raynhamrecitals.co.uk/Events/September/.

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