Sir Herbert Baker Society Opens Owletts to the public

Owletts is Sir Herbert Baker’s estate in England, where he was born and died, and it still remains in the Baker family. Now, the Sir Herbert Baker Society has opened Owletts to the public on the first Sunday of every month. So, if you are visiting the UK, why not try to check it out – especially if you have an interest in Sir Herbert’s South African work, which includes the Groote Schuur in Cape Town, Grey College in Bloemfontein, Villa Arcadia, Glenshiel, Jeppe High School for Boys, Stone House and St. John’s College in Joburg and the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Owletts is located in Cobham, Kent.

See the full announcement from the Sir Herbert Baker Society below…

Sir Herbert Baker Society

House Open
As you may have seen, Owletts is back in the NT handbook this year and will be opening next on Sunday 7th May, 11am til 5pm – and thereafter on the first Sunday of the month. Please come and visit us. The blossom is looking lovely. the house is dusted, the paths weeded and the tea room is full to the brim with cakes.

Dave and Bella are now proud grandparents to grandson Marley, born on 3rd of March. He is often snoozing in the old Owletts cot, used by Baker babies since 1905. He is truly delicious!

Sir Herbert Baker Society
Although the Herbert Baker Society is starting small, we have big plans. During a discussion with the wider Baker family last year, it was agreed that we do not want the potentially onerous admin of creating a full charity/trust at this early stage.

For now, it will be run under the umbrella of Herbert Baker Furniture Ltd, where it has a separate bank account dedicated to research and heritage.

In ongoing discussion with curators, enthusiasts, fundraisers and researchers we have set some longer term objectives. We feel partnerships will be important to moving forward and are currently talking to interested research and heritage organisations. 

Aims of the society

  1. To promote the legacy of Sir Herbert Baker’s architectural and artistic life’s work
  2. To inspire the next generation of architects and designers
  3. To champion excellence in craftsmanship

We hope to achieve this through:
– a web-based hub of information.
– an international network of owners, users, visitors to Baker buildings.
– advocating for and celebrating his architectural and artistic life’s work, including furniture and his many collaborations.
– opportunities to learn about HB’s life and work, and visit his buildings.

A webpage is under development, (google may ask you to sign in to view the holding page). We have begun the massive job of creating a catalogue of all his works – concentrating on the UK to start with.
If you would like to support our work, donations would be gratefully received.

You can donate by PayPal to 
Or direct to: Account number: 20530653   Sort code: 04-06-05
(The account is in the company name ‘Herbert Baker Furniture Ltd’ for now, but rest assured this is a dedicated account for research and history).

It is our intention to send out a Herbert Baker Society newsletter twice a year to begin with, and will arrange events and visits if there is interest in the future. We hope to send a first newsletter around Herbert’s birthday in June. 

Lost Crafts CIC In the meantime, three of us have created a Community Interest Company called Lost Crafts, which combines championing craftsmanship (something v dear to HB) with workshops aimed at supporting wellbeing in neurodiverse families (very dear to me!). We have been trialling these for the past year, under the name the Wonder of Wellbeing or ‘WOW’ School.

With the legal framework of Lost Crafts CIC, we will be able to apply for funding for marketing, events, research and in particular to create a scholarship in Herbert’s name to support young people gain skills in traditional crafts. 

Save the Date
To start the ball rolling, and spread the word, we are planning an event on Friday 29th Sept at Nurstead. Come and celebrate ‘Lost Crafts’ and Kent-based heritage and craftsmanship of all kinds. We intend it to be a jolly occasion with music and food, for all the family. 4-11pm. More info on www.LostCrafts.Org

If you know anyone interested in any of this work, please forward this email or ask them to contact Similarly, if you prefer not to receive more emails please feel free to unsubscribe. 

I hope to see many of you in person soon, either at Owletts or Nurstead.

with love and thanks,
Camilla (and Henry!)

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