Dartington Hall Estate
“An Old Place with a New Story”
The Dartington Hall Trust is a charity based on the site of Dartington Hall, a Grade 1 listed medieval hall near Totnes. In 1925 benefactors Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst bought the estate and founded their “Dartington Experiment” – restoring its buildings and setting up a range of farming, forestry, and educational projects. The estate operates as a social enterprise, working to stimulate new thinking and action, particularly in the areas of the arts, social justice, learning, and environmental sustainability.
The Elmhirsts welcomed the leading artists, economists, horticulturalists, and social reformers of the day, and the estate became a hub for artistic development and also ideas and practices about social justice and sustainability. The roll-call of outstanding people linked to Dartington Hall features composer Benjamin Britten, poet Rabindrath Tagore, architect Walter Gropius, philosopher Bertrand Russell, social activist Michael Young (Baron Young of Dartington) and cellist Jacqueline Du Pre, amongst many others. The estate has been the backdrop for the development of progressive ideas and organisations such as the NHS, the Arts Council, agriculture and educational reforms and much more.
Dartington Live works with acclaimed artists and thinkers from around the world to tackle some of today’s very real challenges and explore the ‘big’ questions in an imaginative, innovative and transformative way. The 2018 A/W programme offers a diverse range of productions exploring activism and welcoming significant artists investigating the perception of identity.
Ladbury is thrilled to be working with Dartington at this exciting time, the inception of a 7-year regeneration programme. This transformation will see Dartington become a place of radical experimentation, a model of rural regeneration, and a centre for progressive ideas and innovation. Some of the projects Ladbury is working on for Dartington include the Dartington Live 2018/19 Arts Programme, People Make Dartington, an exciting photography exhibition by Totnes-born photographer Aubrey Simpson, capturing those who work across the Dartington Hall estate, and Wonderland, a Christmas makers market with a difference.