Summer programme in support of Petworth exhibition

Elizabeth Ilive, Countess of Egremont by Thomas Philips, 1797 National Trust Images
Elizabeth Ilive, Countess of Egremont by Thomas Philips, 1797 National Trust Images

Petworth House and Park are hosting a series of family-friendly events this summer, focusing on science and engineering in honour of the scientific achievements of Elizabeth Ilive (1769-1822), who lived at Petworth House from the late 1780s.

Cathy Hakes, visitor experience manager, said: “From workshops led by Dragon’s Den winners Sublime Science to wild drop-in craft activities all about water and rafts that are sure to cause a splash, Petworth House has a mixture of fun and fascinating activities for families throughout the summer. This is a summer like no other at the National Trust. We have plenty of activities for families that are not only fun and exciting but also relevant to the curriculum and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). What’s more, it’s great to be able to tie in these activities with the history of Petworth House and Park and a pioneering Georgian woman.”

Among the highlights is the Incredible Inventions Family Trail, £3 per trail.

“Running every day until September 30, Petworth is inviting families to become an inventor extraordinaire and using clues dotted around the Pleasure Grounds, as well as familiar puzzles like dot-to-dot and a word jumble, create their own unique invention.

“There is no right or wrong answer on this outdoor trail inspired by the cross-bar lever Elizabeth Ilive invented to help workers on the Petworth Estate lift heavy rocks. Once completed families are rewarded with a certificate to the Petworth Young Inventors Society.”

Plan it, Build it, Test it Family Craft is on Wednesdays in August, £2 per child.

“Families can have a go at making their own model raft. Once they’ve planned their design and made their raft, families then have the opportunity to sail their creation down the Petworth water table and through its locks.

“Will it sink? Will it float? In the spirit of science and engineering, if the raft doesn’t make it through the course then it’s back to the drawing board.”

Science Saturdays with Sublime Science are on August 4, 11 and 18, 11.30, 1.30 and 3pm. £7 per child. Booking on 0344 249 1895.

“Led by the Dragons’ Den Winners Sublime Science, families can have a go at making their own gooey slime as well as their own tasty sweets to take home. On this one-hour workshop families can see magic tricks and spectacular experiments such as disappearing water.

“With smoke and bubbles galore, the workshops are inspired by the domestic laboratory and the experiments Elizabeth Ilive carried out at Petworth House.”

Cathy added: “Inside the Servants’ Quarters visitors can find out more about Elizabeth Ilive and see a reimagining of the laboratory she developed at Petworth. In this interactive exhibition there is scientific apparatus to use, chemical experiments to solve, a desk and quill for letter writing, a reading corner, an easel for picture drawing and a giant chalk board for visitors to devise their own equations.”

Elizabeth Ilive: A Woman Ahead of Her Time runs until December 31.

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