Kelmarsh Hall’s Hidden Treasures from the Archives – Including the mysterious leg bone!

Posted 27th September 2023

On Thursday 14th September, Kelmarsh Hall opened its doors for a special one-off exhibition to celebrate the Heritage Open Day Festival taking place across the UK. The festival takes place every year throughout a week of September, made up of free events celebrating history and heritage.

The special exhibition at Kelmarsh was curated by the volunteer Research and Archive team, who are highly dedicated to the maintenance and care of the archive in the Hall. The archive itself contains many exciting items, from paintings to books, from personal letters of previous owners to old table lamps once on display. For this special event, the focus of ‘Hidden Treasures of Kelmarsh’ was on items previously unseen by visitors which had all been retrieved from various areas of the archive, including the old safe.

Once the team started planning the exhibition, four themes fell into place:

The ‘Mysterious Leg Bone in the Safe’ – a journey of enlightenment

The de Crespigny War Medals – a family narrative of heroism

Lazy, Hazy, Recreation and Vacation Days – the Lancaster family at play

Books, Books and More Books! – treasures from the Kelmarsh library

Items on display for the exhibition included precious books, an old travel case, paintings, personal postcards, and a real leg bone. The mysterious leg bone attracted a lot of attention as it was discovered in the safe by the volunteers, and stored in what looks to be an old wine box, and has it’s own very interesting story! Some items from the exhibition will be out on display in the Hall during next years open season, including some of the books from the library, and the de crespigny war medals, so visitors can discover more.

The team were delighted to have welcomed 216 visitors to the exhibition, and hope that next years display will be just as intriguing.

Kelmarsh Hall, gardens, the old servants quarters and exhibitions can be visited during the open season which runs from Easter weekend until the end of September each year. Please visit the Kelmarsh website for further information on opening days and prices: