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Unique Opportunities at Cregneash 16 January 2006

    Manx National Heritage (MNH) is looking for new tenants to take up a much sought after and unique opportunity to live at the National Folk Museum in Cregneash Village.Ned Begs Cottage Sketch

    However, the organisation is not just looking for people who are attracted by the idea of living in a rural idyll. In line with their policy to maintain Cregneash as a living village, MNH has developed a programme of extensive renovation of properties within the village. Many properties were in very poor condition and have been restored by MNH in a way which provides for modern living accommodation while still preserving their traditional characteristics. Previously restored properties are already let to a variety of people who, through their contribution in the village, are making a significant contribution to the natural and cultural heritage of the Island.

    Two of the latest properties to be renovated are now available and MNH is looking for tenants who are able to make a significant contribution to village life in the form of practising traditional rural skills and who are able to communicate these to the public as part of the presentation of the national folk museum.

    Stephen Harrison, Director of Manx National Heritage said

    Cregneash was the first publicly developed folk museum in the British Isles. It is unique in the heritage world and provides a touchstone of traditional Manx identity. We are therefore very keen to preserve the Manx traditions of Cregneash, while simultaneously supporting a living working community and a viable infrastructure in the village. As well as operating as an open air museum, some of the properties at Cregneash are tenanted by those who have traditional skills which are crucial to maintain for the Island and which are critical to the success of the Cregneash project.
    We are delighted to be able to offer this further opportunity to bring new skilled residents into the village which can only be for the good of the future of Cregneash.”

    MNH has made an investment of over £2 million in the area over the last five years – over £410, 000 of this has been on property renovation. In the last few years, six properties have been acquired, restored, refurbished and made fit for an improved level of modern occupation by all-year round tenants, thereby bringing a new level of life and viability to the village. Large areas of landscape in the area have also been restored and improved.

    Thirteen full-time equivalent jobs have been brought into the area by the activities of MNH. The spending power of c.100,000 visitors per year is attracted into the area by the MNH activities and services. Cregneash, and the integrity of its traditional setting provides a considerable financial and promotional contribution to the economy and image of the Island by featuring annually in international film projects sponsored by the DTI and in the primary tourism marketing literature sponsored by the DTL.

    MNH is keen to develop its growing programme of traditional craft demonstrations which are not only popular with visitors to Cregneash, but are also vital in keeping the knowledge of traditional Manx crafts alive. They would like to hear from people on the Island who feel they can make a significant contribution to the life of the village through demonstrating and interpreting traditional Manx crafts to the public as well as becoming active members of the Cregneash community.

    Manx National Heritage is able to support a variety of people with traditional skills through its tenancy scheme ranging from artists to farmers.

    As Stephen Harrison says:

    “Although the portrayal at Cregneash is based on the past, through our programme of property renovation and modern tenancies, at the same time MNH is ensuring that the village remains a viable community for the 21st century and beyond”.

    The following list gives an idea of the types of skills MNH is looking for:

    • Blacksmith/Farrier

    • Wood-turner/ joiner

    • Dry stone waller

    • Loom weaver

    • Spinner

    • Traditional Tailor

    • Shepherd

    • Agricultural worker familiar with traditional Manx techniques

    • Traditional cobbler

    If you feel you may have something to offer MNH and would like to become a tenant at Cregneash, you should write to Kirsty Neate, Curatorial Services Officer, at the Manx Museum Douglas, outlining the skills you have to offer.

    16th January 2006

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