Characters of historic house to be brought back to life on Twitter

Caption 1: The picture gallery at Temple Newsam House

Caption 2: Artwork for the new Temple Tales project

Historical characters from the past that have graced one of the city’s most famous and historic homes are to be given a new lease of life on Twitter.

As part of an innovative project set to be launched on Monday 11 August at 1pm, users of the social network site will be able to take part and meet some of the people over the centuries that have lived at Temple Newsam House.

Following the launch, people will be able to experience the performance on Twitter from 1pm on subsequent days until Friday 15 August.

As part of the show which will last approximately 20 minutes, the script will follow the conversations of up to 15 historic characters associated with Temple Newsam, whilst some are comical, all will give an insight into life at the house and the social boundaries that existed in an ‘upstairs downstairs’ (master/servant) living.

To make the conversation and experience more authentic, the characters will use a combination of traditional English mixed with contemporary social media hashtags and slang put together by Leeds Museums and Galleries and The Butterfly Psyche Theatre Company.

To follow Temple Tales, all you have to do is subscribe to the Temple Tales list by clicking this link www.templetales.co.uk.

Please note you must already have a Twitter account in order to do this - if Twitter isn’t your thing, there is still an opportunity to view the performance over on the Leeds Museums and Galleries’ Storify page at the end of the first performance.

Temple Newsam House is one of the country’s most celebrated historic houses with over 40 restored rooms open to the public housing one of the most important collections of decorative art in Britain and remains one of the city’s most popular attractions.

After meeting the historical characters of the estate on Twitter, why not pop down and find out in person why it is so loved by visitors.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

“In the digital age we now live in, it is important for museums to adopt new forms of media in order to engage audiences.

"In comparison to more traditional outlets of performance, Twitter allows the audience to become more ‘immersed’ with the story and its characters, with subscribers being able to ‘follow’, ‘favourite’ and ‘retweet’ the characters comments.

"We hope that this will shine a new light on the history of Temple Newsam and spark an interest to find out more.”

John Roles, Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries said:

“A trip to Temple Newsam House is always a fantastic experience, and we are delighted to be bringing its magic to a new audience on Twitter.

“As part of the performance, people on Twitter will be able to listen into the conversations and meet some of the characters that have lived at Temple Newsam House in the past, which promises to be both a unique and fantastic experience.

“It would be fantastic if through this more people are inspired to visit Temple Newsam House in person and find out why it remains one of our city’s most popular visitor attractions.”

Bobbie Robertson, principal keeper of Temple Newsam House added:

“Over the last few years the Temple Newsam team have been working to bring the 500 years of stories at Temple Newsam to life.

"We are all very excited about using such new digital technology in an historic setting and hope that all audiences enjoy the ‘saga’ of Tales of Temple Newsam as it unfolds.”


Notes to editors:

Temple Newsam House is a splendid Tudor Jacobean mansion, renowned as being the birthplace of Henry Lord Darnley, Mary Queen of Scots’ infamous husband.

The House itself has over forty beautifully restored rooms and outstanding collections of fine and decorative art, along with a changing exhibition programme.

Set within an Estate of 1500 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscape, Temple Newsam boasts paths and trails for cycling, walking and riding, an 18th century Walled Garden and national plant collections.

Home Farm also holds a variety of rare breed animals and in the Stable Courtyard there is also a Tea Room serving locally sourced food, a large gift shop and Mrs Pawson’s local produce shop.

Temple Newsam House is due to be host to an extraordinary exhibition of tapestries by Turner prize-winning artist Grayson Perry. Entitled ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’, this series of six tapestries will be on display from 23 August to 7 December 2014 providing the final location on the exhibition’s UK tour, supported by the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation.

The work was gifted to the Arts Council Collection managed by the Southbank Centre and British Council last year, by the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London, supported by Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund, Sfumato Foundation, and Alix Partners.

These tapestries were created by Perry in 2012 alongside the Channel 4 BAFTA award winning series ‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’.

This landmark series charted Perry’s fascination with taste and the tapestries tell the story of twenty-first century social mobility through the fictional character, Tim Rakewell.

Perry’s tapestries make direct reference to the series of paintings called ‘A Rake’s Progress’ by William Hogarth.

Address: Temple Newsam Road, Leeds LS15 0AD

Telephone Number: 0113 3367460

Website Address: www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsam

House Summer Opening Times: Tues-Sun 10.30am-5pm

Directions: 4 miles from Leeds City Centre off B6159, 2 miles from M1, junction 46.

Leeds Museums and Galleries is Leeds City Council’s family of nine museum sites across the city and is responsible for looking after the collections of fine and decorative art, fashion and textiles, industrial and social history, natural science and much more.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk