Wednesday, 13 April 2011

NADFAS Volunteers help-out at the Castle

Berkeley Castle has been working together with volunteers from the regional National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies group (NADFAS). Members from the West Gloucestershire DFAS Group have been working with staff at the Castle to photograph the entire contents of the public rooms of the Castle.

The project was started in January 2011, and a team of eight volunteers has been visiting the Castle every fortnight since then. Heritage Volunteer Representative of the West Gloucestershire NADFAS Group, Monica Evans approached the Castle back in April 2010, with the offer to undertake a project at the Castle. After meeting with Monica, Sian Rogers (Heritage Volunteer Representative for West Mercia DFAS) and the Castle General Manager in June, it was agreed that the photography project was of great interest to both parties and NADFAS HQ authorisation would be sought. Following that subsequent approval the project team met at the Castle in the autumn and planned the start of the project.

Volunteers are now in the process of completing the project and have now photographed well over 600 items from the Castle’s collection. That is an immense achievement in itself, but it is worth mentioning that the photography coincided with the services installation works at the Castle, which meant that the volunteers were often working around the on-site contractors, stepping over holes in the floors, and circumnavigating scaffold towers!

The NADFAS team has included Julian Berrisford, Joan Bloore, Ray Davies, George Duff, Monica Evans, Margaret Macnair, Chris Manning and Anne Mogie, some of which are pictured here in the Long Drawing Room with Dave Wintle and Vicky Parr from the Castle.

The photographs will be used within a new system called ‘Icollector’ being adopted by Berkeley Castle Charitable Trust from Sotheby’s, which contains all the information in one secure database to help collate and manage the entire collection at the Castle.

As the project has gone so successfully, it is hoped that there may be other projects that the volunteers may be able to help with at the Castle.


NADFAS is an arts-based charity, with over 340 local Decorative and Fine Art Societies in the UK and Mainland Europe. All NADFAS Societies subscribe to the aims and objects of the National Association: the advancement of arts education and appreciation and the preservation of our artistic heritage.

NADFAS promotes these aims through lectures on the fine and decorative arts in their widest sense, through study days, visits and tours and through volunteering activities, such as Church Recorders, Heritage Volunteers and Young Arts and the giving of grants.

NADFAS volunteers learn new skills, while making friends and benefiting the community at large. Young Arts Volunteers provide exciting projects and activities aimed at fostering a love of the arts amongst the young. At national and local level, NADFAS also gives grants to aspiring artists and craftsmen

For further information visit

About Berkeley Castle:
Berkeley Castle is a beautiful and historic Castle, begun in 1117 and still remains the home of the Berkeley family. The Castle was the scene of the brutal murder of Edward II in 1327 and besieged by Cromwell’s troops in 1645. The Castle is steeped in history but 27 generations of Berkeley’s have gradually transformed a Norman fortress into the lovely home it is today.
The state apartments contain magnificent collections of furniture, rare paintings by primarily English and Dutch masters, and tapestries. Some of the world famous Berkeley silver is on display and many other rooms including the Great Hall are available to view.
The Castle is surrounded by lovely terraced Elizabethan Gardens with a lily pond, Elizabeth I’s bowling green, sweeping lawns and a walled garden containing the Tropical Butterfly House (open Easter – September).

The Castle is licensed to hold Civil Wedding Ceremonies and Civil Partnerships, as well as evening receptions and functions.

The Castle is open to visitors on selected days from Sunday 3rd April to Sunday 30th October 2011.

For general information contact the Castle Office on 01453 810332, or e-mail Browse the website

For more information:

Vicky Parr
General Manager, Berkeley Castle
BERKELEY Gloucestershire GL13 9BQ
T: 01453 810332
F: 01453 512995

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