The Charleston Trust

Patron – HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

Photo of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall - Patron of The Charleston Trust

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of The Charleston Trust

A message from our Patron

“As a supporter of the arts and a native of East Sussex, I discovered in Charleston a unique atmosphere of rural peace and creativity. For thirty years the Charleston Trust has worked to restore and maintain this special, fragile place, preserving the inspiring inheritance of Bloomsbury in Sussex.

Today, the Trust plans to restore the historic farm buildings, construct exciting new spaces in a hidden courtyard and safeguard the tranquil agricultural setting. These buildings will be used for a range of inclusive creative and educational initiatives, keeping the house alive and inspiring the next generation. The survival of Charleston depends on the success of this project. As Patron of The Charleston Trust I am delighted to support the Charleston Centenary Project.”

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall became the Trust’s first Patron in May 2013

President – Anne Olivier Bell

Photo of Annie Olivier Bell

Annie Olivier Bell – President, The Charleston Trust

Anne Olivier Bell (known to friends as ‘Olivier’) trained as an art historian (Courtauld, 1930s). She worked at the end of the war as part of a special international unit to repatriate works of art displaced by war. She first came to know Charleston in 1950. In 1952 she married Quentin Bell and continued to visit Charleston regularly from this date. She is an acknowledged expert on Bloomsbury and on Charleston’s original collection and interiors, and in the early 1980s helped found the Charleston Trust. She has received honorary doctorates from Sussex and York Universities for her work editing the five volumes of Virginia Woolf’s diaries. In 2014 Anne Olivier Bell was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the arts and literature.

On 20 June 2016 Olivier celebrated her 100th birthday. Here she is at her centenary party at her Sussex home, just one mile from Charleston.

Photo of Annie Olivier Bell on her 100th Birthday

Anne Olivier Bell on her 100th birthday at her Sussex home, just one mile from Charleston


Trustees

Michael Farthing, DSc(Med), MD, FRCP, FMed Sci, Chair

Photo of Professor Michael Farthing, DSc(Med), MD, FRCP, FMed Sci, Chairman

Professor Michael Farthing, DSc(Med), MD, FRCP, FMed Sci, Chairman

Professor Farthing was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex up until August 2016. He was formerly Principal and Professor of Medicine at St George’s, University of London, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Glasgow. He is former President of the British Society of Gastroenterology. He is an academic gastroenterologist whose major research interest is intestinal infection.

Michael Farthing was Editor of Gut from 1996–2002 and is founding Chairman of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics). He is Chair of the Universities UK Health and Social Care Policy Committee and Vice-Chair of the UK Panel for Health and Biomedical Research Integrity.

 

 

Jolyon Brewis BA(Hons) BArch RIBA FRSA

Photo of Jolyon Brewis

Photo of Jolyon Brewis

Jolyon Brewis is currently a Partner with Grimshaw Architects LLP, an architectural practice of more than 450 staff working from 5 international offices. Jolyon has broad experience of leading large teams of people (architects and other professionals) in the delivery of high-profile major projects across multiple sectors, including education, infrastructure, the cultural and energy sectors. He has held Managing Partner and Chief Executive positions within the practice, and led Grimshaw through significant organisational change and rapid growth.

Jolyon was the Lead Architect from 1998 for Eden Project, Cornwall, through four phases of construction including visitor centre, Biomes, internal and external landscaping, office building and education centre.

He was also the Lead Architect for The Laboratory at Dulwich College, a new science building with facades designed in collaboration with Peter Randall-Page RA. There was extensive involvement in a fund-raising campaign alongside the Development Office and Board of Governors.

Jolyon is currently leading design teams on the expansion of Heathrow Airport, new Eden Project destinations in China and a technology innovation centre in London.

Jolyon is a Trustee of Wac Arts, a Hampstead-based charity providing access to performing arts training for young people. He chairs the Buildings and Operations Sub-committee.

Mark Burch

Photo of Mark Burch

Photo of Mark Burch

Mark Burch is Managing Partner of ARCIS Group, a private equity investment management firm, which he joined in 2002. His previous roles have been in lending and investment banking over more than 20 years. He has a MA from Oxford University and a MBA from Columbia University, New York. He is also a Director of The FSE Group, Chair of the Board of Trustees at The Arts Educational Schools and was a Director of the Hackney Empire theatre from 2002-2010.

 

Marion Gibbs CBE

Marion Gibbs – JAGS Governors, Heads and Bursar Photos Photo by Mark Allan ©

Marion Gibbs – JAGS Governors, Heads and Bursar Photos
Photo by Mark Allan ©

Marion Gibbs has taught in a variety of state maintained and independent schools, has tutored for the Open University, taught in two prisons and lectured on extra-mural university courses. She served as an HMI (Schools) immediately before becoming Headmistress of James Allen’s Girls’ School, London, which she led for 21 years. She also co-founded the innovative Southwark Schools’ Learning Partnership in 2003 and directed it until her retirement. She served on the DfE Independent-State School Partnership Forum for many years. Marion is the author of a book on Greek Tragedy, has contributed chapters to books on Classics, inspection, education and headship and wrote a fortnightly column in an education paper. She was awarded a CBE for her services to education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2012. She has served as a school governor and has completed terms of office as a trustee of Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Arvon Foundation and the Hellenic Society. Her passions are community action and the arts. She has now returned to Sussex, where she previously lived for many years.

Dame Pippa Harris

Photo of Dame Pippa Harris

Photo of Dame Pippa Harris

Pippa Harris is a film and television producer. She established Neal Street Productions in 2003, alongside Sam Mendes and Caro Newling, and has produced the films Starter for Ten, Stuart A Life Backwards, and co-produced Jarhead. She also executive produced Things We Lost in the Fire, and the Oscar-nominated Revolutionary Road, as well as the feature documentary We Are Many.

Pippa is the Executive Producer of Call the Midwife, – the most successful new BBC drama series in over ten years, as well as the multi award winning, Penny Dreadful for Sky Atlantic, and BBC Two’s BAFTA winning, The Hollow Crown, a filmed series of Shakespeare’s History plays.

Previously, Pippa was the Head of Drama Commissioning for the BBC where her commissions included The Lost Prince, State of Play and Daniel Deronda and her production credits include the BAFTA winning dramas The Way We Live Now, Care and Warriors.

Pippa sits on the board of BAFTA and is the Chair of their film committee. She is also a Governor of Central School of Speech and Drama, and a Trustee of The Creative Society. In 2015 Pippa was made a Dame in the Dissolution Honours.

Anne Morrison

Photo of Anne Morrison

Photo of Anne Morrison

Anne Morrison is the chair of BAFTA, the leading charity in the UK supporting, developing and promoting the art forms of the moving image. It celebrates excellence through its awards ceremonies and stages over 250 events a year, sharing insights from the best practitioners in film, television and games. She is the second woman to chair the Academy in its 67 year history.

Until 2014 she was Director of the BBC Academy, the BBC’s centre for training, which she launched in 2009. Its portfolio includes journalism, production, leadership and technology training as well as new talent schemes for graduate trainees and apprentices. Previously she was responsible for planning and overseeing the dramatic growth of BBC network television from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Anne’s background is principally in television production, working as a producer/director and rising to become Controller, Documentaries and Contemporary Factual at the BBC, responsible for award winning programmes such as Dunkirk, The Secret Policeman, The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, One Life, What Not To Wear and Top Gear.

She is a frequent speaker on issues in the arts and education such as diversity, employability, talent development, creativity and interdisciplinarity.

Anne was educated in Belfast and Churchill College, Cambridge.

Simon Martin

Photo of Simon Martin

Photo of Simon Martin

Simon Martin is a curator, writer and art historian. He is Co-Director and Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery, where he oversees the permanent collection and programme of exhibitions, events and publications. He is a Trustee of HOUSE the Brighton Contemporary Art Festival, and the Charleston Trust. He serves on the Courtauld Association Committee; the Chichester Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee; the Churches Conservation Trust Arts Advisory Committee; and the University of Chichester Special Collections and Archives Committee. He has written books and catalogues on Edward Burra, Eduardo Paolozzi, Colin Self, John Tunnard, Leon Underwood, and the thematic ‘Conflict and Conscience: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War’ as well as contributions to numerous other publications on Modern and Contemporary British art.

David Pickard

Photo of David Pickard - Photo by Chris Christodolou

Photo of David Pickard – Photo by Chris Christodolou

David Pickard studied Music at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge before starting his career at the Royal Opera House. In his early career, David worked at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park and was the Assistant Director for the Japan Festival before becoming Sir John Drummond’s deputy at the European Arts Festival. In 1993 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment where he significantly increased the orchestra’s artistic reputation and international profile, helping to establish the OAE as the pre-eminent period instrument orchestra in the world.

In 2001 he was made General Director of Glyndebourne Festival where throughout his tenure he created an extensive digital programme including online streaming, big screen and cinema relays and broadened the company’s audience base through specially priced performances for young people and a pioneering education programme.

In November 2015, David took up the role of Director of the BBC Proms. New initiatives for his first Proms season included an innovative series called Proms at … exploring music in new spaces around London including the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe and the Bold Tendencies Multi-Storey Car Park in Peckham. Passionate about bringing new audiences to classical music and identifying and nurturing emerging talent, David also made youth music-making and youth audiences a major focus at the 2016 Proms. Initiatives included two Proms devoted to the BBC’s Ten Pieces II project, a series of weekend matinee concerts aimed at family audiences, and a Last Night of the Proms where young musicians were put centre stage.

Jon Snow

Photo of Jon Snow

Photo of Jon Snow

Jon Snow joined ITN in 1976 reporting from Africa, the Middle East and Europe. He served as Washington Correspondent 1983/1987; Diplomatic correspondent 1987/1989, and main anchor of Channel 4 News from 1989. He reported the fall of Idi Amin in Uganda; the Revolution in Iran; the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the release of Nelson Mandela; the Earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti; the elections of Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and Hassan Rouhani’s victory in 2013; Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

In May this year the Channel 4 News anchor was honoured with the Bafta Fellowship at the prestigious television awards. He has also won the Royal Television Society’s Presenter of the Year awards in 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012; Journalist of the Year 2006 and the BAFTA award for best factual contribution to UK television in 2005.

Jon secured the first major TV interview with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and a host of exclusives including Nelson Mandela, Brazil’s President Lula, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Alex Ferguson and Russell Brand.

As well as presenting Channel 4 News, he has also hosted numerous televised public debates, including taking a concentrated dose of super-strength skunk for the series Drugs Live. He also presented the reinterment of the remains of King Richard III which was broadcast live for 4-hours on Channel 4.

During the week Jon writes Snowblog – a unique take on the day’s events – and Snowmail – a preview of the evening programme’s main stories.

He has served on the Boards of Britain’s National Gallery, and Tate Gallery. He has served for thirty years as Chairman of the New Horizon Youth Centre, a London day centre for homeless and vulnerable teenagers.

Jon is married to Dr Precious Lunga who has been working with UNAIDS in Geneva as an epidemiologist. He has two children.

Tom Stuart-Smith

Photo of Tom Stuart-Smith

Photo of Tom Stuart-Smith

Tom Stuart-Smith is a landscape designer who works in the UK and internationally. He made a garden for The Queen at Windsor Castle for the Golden Jubilee and has also designed 8 gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show over the years which were awarded gold medals.


Emeritus Trustees

Emeritus Trustees continue to be involved in the life of the Charleston Trust with many sitting on Charleston committees.

Nigel Newton, Emeritus Chair of the Trustees

Photo of Nigel Newton

Photo of Nigel Newton

Nigel Newton is the founder and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing. He was born and raised in San Francisco. He read English at Selwyn College,Cambridge. After working at Macmillan Publishers, he joined Sidgwick & Jackson. He left Sidgwick in 1986 to start Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury floated on The London Stock Exchange in 1994. Bloomsbury publishes 2,000 books a year and employs 500 people. Bloomsbury authors include JK Rowling, David Guterson, Margaret Atwood, William Boyd, Daniel Goleman, Ben McIntyre, Kate Summerscale, Elizabeth Gilbert, Heston Blumenthal, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Khaled Hosseini.

Nigel Newton serves as Chairman of The British Library Trust, President of Book Aid International, Chairman of The Charleston Trust, Member of the Man Booker Prize Advisory Committee, Trustee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Member of the Executive Committee of The Churchill Centre (UK) and Chair of Rescue The Cuckmere Valley.

Virginia Nicholson, Emeritus Deputy Chair of the Trustees

Photo of Virginia Nicholson

Photo of Virginia Nicholson

Virginia Nicholson is a writer and the daughter of Quentin and Anne Olivier Bell. She has chronicled the family in Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden. Her books include Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War and Millions Like Us: Women’s Lives in War and Peace 1939-1949

Rupert Christiansen

Photo of Rupert Christiansen

Photo of Rupert Christiansen

Rupert is an author, journalist and critic. He has published a dozen books, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is currently opera critic of The Daily Telegraph and the dance critic for The Mail on Sunday. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Spectator, TLS, Harpers & Queen, the Los Angeles Times and Vanity Fair.

Hilary Newiss

Photo of Hilary Newiss

Photo of Hilary Newiss

Hilary Newiss is qualified as a Solicitor and was Head of Intellectual Property at a city law firm. She now sits on boards in the fields of public policy, science, health, IP and the arts. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Francis Crick Institute.

Charles Saumarez Smith

Photo of Charles Saumarez-Smith

Photo of Charles Saumarez-Smith

Charles Saumarez Smith is an art historian and museum director. He was Director of the National Portrait Gallery, then the National Gallery, and is now Chief Executive of the Royal Academy. He is a former president of the Museums Association.

Frances Spalding

Photo of Frances Spalding

Photo of Frances Spalding

Frances Spalding is an art historian, biographer and critic. She is an authority on twentieth-century British art and has a broad knowledge of English social and cultural history. Her most recent books were John Piper, Myfanwy Piper: Lives in Art (2009) and Prunella Clough; regions unmapped (2011). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art, and was awarded a CBE in 2005. Books by Francis Spalding are available from The Charleston Shop.

David Stockley

Photo of David Stockley

Photo of David Stockley

David was formerly Chief Executive of EMI International and a member of the Executive Committee of Hachette Livre (Lagardere SCA) which involved him both in the music and the publishing industries. He also became closely involved the voluntary sector as a result of work he did with the late Lord Young of Dartington (founder of the Open University and the Consumers Association ). David collaborated with Lord Young in the forming of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and was its first Director.

David recently read Fine Art Painting at the University of the Arts in London and dedicates most of his time to oil painting. He is a trustee of Le Dispensaire Français (the French Clinic) in London and the ExtraSpecial Trust in Bristol.

Simon Watney

Photo of Simon Watney

Photo of Simon Watney

Simon Watney is a published art historian, lecturer and writer on health. He is a former Senior Lecturer in the history and theory of photography at the Polytechnic of Central London and has published several books on art history. He left the academic world in 1986 to concentrate on practical efforts in fighting AIDS: he chaired the Policy Group and the Health Education Group of the Terrence Higgins Trust and is currently Director of the Red Hot AIDS Charitable Trust. In 1995, The Independent described him as one of the forty most influential gay men in Britain.

Gillian Wolfe

Photo of Gillian Wolfe

Photo of Gillian Wolfe

Gillian Wolfe CBE is Director of Learning and Public Affairs at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Gillian is the author of several art books for children. She is also a freelance education consultant and Specialist Adviser to the Clore Duffield Foundation Grants Programme and Historic House Association. She is Associate Director of The Georgian Theatre Royal, Trustee of Brighton Pavilion and Museums and Arts4Dementia.

Venetia Abergavenny

Photo of Venetia Abergavenny

Photo of Venetia Abergavenny

Venetia AbergavennyVenetia Abergavenny is a successful artist (working under the name Venetia Nevill) with exhibitions in New York, London and Sussex. She is married to Christopher, the VI Marquess of Abergavenny and lives at Eridge Park where she is involved in running music festivals, decorative fairs and charity events.

Dinah Casson

Photo of Dinah Casson

Photo of Dinah Casson

Dinah Casson is an award winning designer and a director of the interior design practice Casson Mann. Established in 1984 in partnership with Roger Mann, this innovative consultancy has set about transforming the world of museums and galleries with its fresh, creative and innovative approach to design. Recent projects have involved the design for the V&A’s Hollywood Costume exhibition and the refurbishment of the V&A’s British Galleries. Currently the studio is working on the World War One galleries for the Imperial War Museum and a museum at Lascaux, Montignac. She has many years of experience as a teacher and was course director of Architecture & Interior Design at the Royal College of Art where she is now an external examiner. She divides her time between London and her home in Sussex.

Committees at Charleston

There are a number of committees that meet throughout the year to focus and discuss areas of programme and activity at Charleston. Many of the trustees are involved in these committees and other individuals who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise also form part of these committees.

Finance and Business

Mark Harwood (Chair), Anne Morrison, Hugh Jones, Nathaniel Hepburn, Sarah Higson

Building (Centenary Project)

Dinah Casson (Chair), Anna Callum (Project Manager), Kevin Heaton (HLF Monitor), Johnathan Prichard, Michael Farthing, Nathaniel Hepburn, Kristina Sekyere

Appeal (Centenary Project)

Venetia Abergavenny, Charles Anson, Deborah Gage, Pippa Harris, Alison McLean, Gaynor Moynihan, Nigel Newton, Virginia Nicholson, Sara Stonor, Claire Singers, Helen Scott, Georgie Rowse, Deborah Bedford, Nancy Roche, Tom Stuart-Smith

House and Exhibitions

Richard Shone, John Gill, Hilary Lane, Simon Martin (Chair), Darren Clarke, Nathaniel Hepburn

Retail

Sarah Sevier, Belinda Da Silva, Nathaniel Hepburn

Enterprises

Directors of Enterprises are: Dinah Casson, Michael Farthing, Jonathan Prichard

Company Secretary

Sarah Higson


Staff

Nathaniel Hepburn, Director

  • Photo of Nathaniel Hepburn

    Providing a strategic overview and executive leadership of the Charleston Trust and Charleston Enterprises Ltd.

  • Development and delivery of the £8.5m Charleston Centenary Project
  • Development of Charleston’s organisational capacity and resources in the lead up to the completion of the Centenary Project.

Nathaniel joined Charleston in October 2017. He previously spent three years as Director of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, and 10 years as Curator of Mascalls Gallery in Kent, in which he established a reputation for programming a diverse range of high-quality exhibitions, developing a specialism in Modern British Art. Nathaniel has curated over 50 exhibitions which have been shown at some of the best museums and galleries across the country including Barbara Hepworth: The Hospital Drawings (with The Hepworth Wakefield and Pallant House Gallery), William Gear (with Towner, Eastbourne and City Art Centre, Edinburgh) and Cedric Morris & Christopher Wood (with Norwich Castle Museum and Falmouth Art Gallery). At Ditchling, this has extended beyond exhibitions to include developing the exciting Big Steam Print and The Village of Type programme, introducing a programme of residencies for artists, makers, designers and writers, as well as leading the nine Sussex museums and galleries, including Charleston, in bringing Sussex Modernism to Two Temple Place.

Nathaniel also was the recipient of the ‘Businessperson of the Year’ at the Lewes District Business Awards in 2017.

Works: Monday – Friday

Email: n.hepburn@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815159

Twitter: www.twitter.com/NTHepburn

Carolyn Chinn, Head of Public Programmes and Learning

  • Photo of Carolyn Chinn

    Photo of Carolyn Chinn

    Developing and delivering Charleston’s two literary festivals, The Charleston Festival and Small Wonder, as well as the rolling public programme of events, workshops, walks and talks

  • Developing a new Schools and Community engagement programme in line with Charleston’s 5-year Forward Plan and within other areas of relevant activity, such as the festivals.

Carolyn has 20 years of experience working in museums in England, Scotland and Canada. She graduated with a Masters degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto, and acquired two BAs from Concordia University (Classics and Communication Studies) in her home town of Montreal. Since moving to the UK 18 years ago, she has completed an NVQ in Cultural Heritage Management (Level 3) and an Associateship of the Museums Association (AMA). Before starting with Charleston in 2014, Carolyn managed the Learning Department at the V&A Museum of Childhood for 10 years.

She works closely with Melissa Perkins to devise and deliver high quality inspirational and educational programming for Charleston.

Works: Monday – Friday

Email: c.chinn@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815142

Dr Darren Clarke, Rausing Head of Collections, Research and Exhibitions

  • Photo of Dr Darren Clarke

    Photo of Dr Darren Clarke

    Monitoring the condition of the fabric of the buildings, the environmental conditions in the interior and the condition of the collections

  • Writing all interpretative material for the site, collection and ad hoc events
  • Managing the HLF Curatorial Internships programme

Dr Darren Clarke has been involved with Charleston for over a decade and has worked in many areas of the organisation. His latest incarnation is as the Rausing Head of Collections, Research and Exhibitions, looking after the house and collection and interpretation of Charleston as well as ensuring that our visitors get the best experience possible.

He successfully completed an AHRC sponsored Ph.D. in collaboration with the University of Sussex and the Charleston Trust, with a thesis that recontextualises the partnership between the Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, focusing on geographical and corporeal thresholds. He has also lectured extensively on Bell and Grant and Bloomsbury’s queer heritage.

Works: Monday – Friday

Email: d.clarke@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815146

Sarah Higson (ACA), Head of Finance

  • Photo of Sarah Higson

    Photo of Sarah Higson

    Overseeing the financial management of The Charleston Trust and Charleston Enterprises; including the preparation of management accounts, statutory reporting, treasury management, contracts, VAT and Gift Aid

  • Preparing and monitoring the budget including regular liaison with budget holders
  • Contributing to funding applications and completing the financial part of Heritage Lottery Fund claims

As Head of Finance, Sarah looks after the overall finance function at Charleston; working closely with Denise McDowell who maintains the day-to-day accounts. Sarah started her finance career with Tenon where she trained in general audit before moving over to their film team after qualification. After a career break volunteering and travelling, she entered the charity world as Financial Controller for BAFTA. Since then she had a brief interlude as a trainee teacher before moving back to charity finance and joining Charleston at this exciting time of change.

Works: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Email: s.higson@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815165

Anna Rogers, Catering and Hospitality Manager

Management of the Charleston catering and hospitality programme including the café, catering for events, festivals, workshops and cultivation events with stakeholders and supporters.

Email: a.rogers@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 811626

Belinda Da Silva, Retail Manager

  • Photo of Belinda DaSilva

    Photo of Belinda DaSilva

    Managing the day to day running of the shop including the smooth running of ticket sales for house and gardens visitors, the supervision of shop staff and managing online shop sales

  • Business development for the shop including identifying and developing new lines

Belinda attended Lucy Clayton’s College of Dress Making & Design where she gained her diploma. She then attended the London College of Fashion gaining a diploma in ‘Men’s Bespoke Tailoring’. From this, Belinda then worked as a coat maker for Harrods.

Works: Saturday – Wednesday from March to October; Monday – Friday from January to March

Email: b.dasilva@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815158

Fiona Dennis, Head Gardener

  • Photo of Fiona Dennis

    Photo of Fiona Dennis

    Maintenance and management of the historic planting schemes

  • Developing garden policies and programmes that support an organic garden and Charleston’s environmental sustainability aims
  • Responsibility for garden contractors, staff, interns, apprentices and volunteers

Fiona joined Charleston in March 2017. Formerly from English Heritage where she managed the Historic and Botanic Garden Bursary Scheme (HBGBS), a garden traineeship program for gardeners developing a career in historic gardens. Fiona worked with gardens all over the UK and is a passionate supporter of practical training for new horticulturists coming into the profession.

Fiona trained at Merrist Wood College, Surrey and began her career as a gardener with the Royal Parks. She became Propagator (Alpine and Herbaceous) at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and during this time gained her Masters in Horticulture. She has extensive overseas experience working with Botanic Gardens Conservation International, in support of which she attained an MSc in Plant Conservation Genetics. Previously an Advisor for the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley and now sits on the Royal Horticultural Society Bursaries Committee.

Works: Monday-Friday

Email: f.dennis@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 07512624557 (mobile) or 01323 811626 (main office)

Tina Morris, Marketing and Communications Manager

  • Marketing and communicating all areas of Charleston’s activities
  • Maintaining and developing the Charleston brand and developing new audiences
  • Managing all press related issues, requests and relationships with regional arts organisations

Works: Monday- Friday (9.00am-1.15pm)
Email: t.morris@charleston.org.uk
Direct line: 01323 815152

Will Kemp, Bookings and Online Retail Assistant

  • Coordinating the Box Office function for the May Festival and Small Wonder Short Story Festival and Public Programme of events and workshops, uploading bookings and events information onto the online ticketing system and website.
  • Actively managing the online shop site, ensuring that it is up-to-date in relation to stock levels and information.
  • Working with the Retail Manager and Marketing and Communications Manager on potential promotions and offers and ‘special occasion days’ purchases.
  • Organising and dispatching customer orders.
  • Assisting in receiving and booking in of new stock.

Will studied English and Comparative Literature and holds a masters from Goldsmith College, London, in Modern Literary Movements, where he focused on 20th century writers including Virginia Woolf. He has since produced arts and educational events in the Sussex area with MOOT – music of our time, where he is currently Treasurer, and with Canto Song School, and worked for a season at Glyndebourne in their front-of-house team. Prior to joining Charleston, Will was a Programme Coordinator in the British Council’s Literature and Music teams, where he helped programme a range of international arts and festival events and conferences in 2016. He is a keen amateur musician and writes poetry in his spare time.

Works: Monday- Thursday (9.30am-5.30pm)

Email: w.kemp@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815152

Leah Romaniello, Visitor and Volunteer Manager

  • Photo of Leah Romaniello

    Photo of Leah Romaniello

    Managing the way in which the general public visit Charleston during the open season.

  • The marketing and promotion of the house to visitors, recruitment, training and management of the team of Guides and Stewards
  • Working with the Curator on the interpretation of the house and collection for visitors
  • Working with the Curator on issues relating to preventive conservation and security
  • Leading on visitor research and monitoring
  • Managing all of Charleston’s volunteers including recruitment, induction and training

Works: Wednesday- Sunday plus Bank Holiday Mondays

Email: l.romaniello@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815164

Melissa Perkins, Public Programmes and Learning Manager

  • Photo of Melissa Perkins

    Photo of Melissa Perkins

    Programmes and produces the What’s On series of events, performances, creative workshops, talks and walks at Charleston

  • Logistical support for the Charleston Festival and Small Wonder Short Story Festival
  • Aesthetics lead for the organisation, including set design and site dressing
  • Supporting the delivery of a new Schools and Community engagement programme

Melissa has Masters degrees in Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths, and in Dramatic Writing from the University of Sussex. She has background working for Festivals, including the Brighton, Edinburgh and New Zealand Festivals. She also has experience in working with schools, and community engagement.

Works: Monday-Friday

Email: m.perkins@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815144

Camilla Clark, Assistant Visitor Manager

  • Managing group visits throughout the season
  • Leading on visitor feedback analysis
  • Supporting the Visitor Manager in the day to day management of Charleston.

Camilla studied Art History, Literature and Music through the Open University and completed a Masters in the History of Art and Visual Culture at Oxford University, where she wrote on Roland Penrose. She previously worked at Towner and more recently managed the Oboe Department at a specialist woodwind manufacturer and retailer in London. She is local to Charleston, growing up and living in nearby Chalvington.

Works: Wednesday-Sunday plus Bank Holiday Mondays

Email: c.clark@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815148

Marilyn Chandler, Facilities Manager

  • Photo of Marilyn Chandler

    Photo of Marilyn Chandler

    The smooth running of the Charleston office facilities such as telephones, IT, photocopier

  • Management of the waste collection, heating, electricity of the Charleston site
  • Venue hire
  • Liaising with contractors, in particular for the Centenary Project

Marilyn has a degree in Design History from Brighton University, where she first became interested in Charleston, and considers it a privilege to work in such an inspiring place.

Works: Monday-Thursday (9am-2.30pm)

Email: m.chandler@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815143

Kristina Sekyere, Operational Development Manager

  • Photo of Kristina Sekyere

    Photo of Kristina Sekyere

    Managing and scheduling meetings with the Director, staff, trustees and key stakeholders.

  • Regularly reviewing and updating Charleston’s policies in line with Charity Commission best practice, Charleston’s Forward Plan and Director’s vision.
  • Recommending and implementing changes for the development of Charleston, its staff and governance
  • Leading on staff recruitment, HR and inductions
  • First point of contact for the architects, contractors, project managers, quantity surveyors, consultants and advisors for the Centenary Project

Kristina previously worked for the University of Reading coordinating their programme of musical activities. On returning to her East Sussex roots, she worked for 6 years for Creative Partnerships, a government funded scheme working with children, young people and creative practitioners.

Works: Tuesday- Friday

Email: k.sekyere@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815160

Charles Rowney, Temporary Finance Manager

  • Day to day running of the accounts department; first point of contact with our Bankers, Charity Commission and Companies House.

Works: Monday-Friday

Email: accounts@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815157

Judy Mackerras, Accounts Assistant

More details to follow…

Eleanor Crawforth, Head of Enterprises

  • Managing individual giving
  • Managing the Annual Fund
  • Managing legacies
  • Strategic overview of the Charleston Enterprises including shop, online shop and café.

Eleanor comes to Charleston from a literature background, having long been a fan of Bloomsbury and worked at Small Wonder Festival 2015. She has over ten years’ experience working in literary publishing, including at Carcanet Press in Manchester and Myriad in Brighton. As well as editorial, marketing and publicity roles within arts organisations, Eleanor has worked as a freelance editor, an artistic assessor for Arts Council England and a programmer of literature events. She has an MA in English from the University of Cambridge (during which she completed her dissertation on the art of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell) and a postgraduate degree in twentieth-century and contemporary literature from the University of Manchester. She was shortlisted for the 2012 Kim Scott Walwyn Prize for Women in Publishing.

Works: Monday and Thursday

Email e.crawforth@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815161

Susie Tempest, Head of Development

  • Fundraising for Charleston Festival and Small Wonder via corporates, sponsorship, individuals, advertising and trusts and foundations
  • Core fundraising via trusts and foundations (with the exception of learning and community applications)
  • Management of the Omega Group
  • Overall strategic management of Friends membership

Susie has over 15 years of experience working in the tourism and communications industry, building key skills and competencies needed for effective fundraising. Prior to joining Charleston, Susie spent three years as the Head of PR and Communications at a tourism PR and marketing consultancy, Hills Balfour, in central London. She has worked with international and UK tourist boards, including those for South East England, New York City, Chicago and Hong Kong. At Charleston, she has been able to combine her knowledge and expertise in the tourism sector with her love or the arts and literature.

Susie is a big fan of the diversity of Charleston and its House, Garden and Collection and the fact that it is so multifaceted. She also enjoys working with the variety of different staff at Charleston. Susie loves the outdoors and hence, the beautiful setting of Charleston in the South Downs National Park. In the summer months, she explores new cycle routes to work from her home in Brighton and she is currently learning how to play beach volleyball.

Works: Tuesday-Thursday

Email: s.tempest@charleston.org.uk

Direct line: 01323 815161

Hilary Masters, Conservation Assistant

  • Photo of Hilary Masters

    Photo of Hilary Masters

    Taking an active role in monitoring the environmental control of the showrooms and the condition of all item

  • Maintaining records of conservation work
  • Supervising and mentoring Conservation Volunteers.
  • Assisting specialist conservation staff and other house staff with the packing up of the contents for reasons of re-display, maintenance or security and assist in the unpacking and re-instatement of the contents afterwards
  • Invigilating photoshoots in the house

Hilary went to Farnham Art College where Quentin Crisp was the ‘life model’ and David Hockney was a guest lecturer. After training as a secondary school ceramics teacher she went on to work at ‘Biba’ in Kensington High Street until it closed down.

After returning to teaching as a primary school teacher, Hilary then gained qualifications as a dyslexia specialist, going on to head a unit for dyslexic primary children and training teachers across Brighton & Hove. After some years as a primary school Senior Leader, Hilary left teaching to return to her artistic roots. Hilary has worked as a volunteer steward at Charleston before gaining the post of Conservation Assistant.

Works: Monday and Tuesday 9am-4pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am-12pm

Email: h.masters@charleston.org.uk

Charity information

The Charleston Trust (Bloomsbury in Sussex) is a non profit making company limited by guarantee. Registered charity number 1107313. Registered in England and Wales, company number 5212725.

Registered office Charleston, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6LL.

The Charleston Trust’s Vision:

The historic embodiment of creative innovation

The Charleston Trust’s Mission statement:

Charleston exists to please, inform and inspire the public about Charleston, Bloomsbury and the arts.

The Charleston Trust’s charitable objectives are:

  • To acquire, protect and improve for the benefit of the general public the land and buildings known as Charleston
  • To promote the maintenance and development of public knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the art, architecture and contents of Charleston and its historical, literary and artistic connections
  • To encourage and promote appreciation and understanding of the arts

Further information is available on the Charities Commission website

Please click on the links below for our summarised accounts (PDF download).

Charleston Enterprises

The Charleston Trust has one trading subsidiary, Charleston Enterprises Limited which operates the shop and café.

The Charleston Trust owns the share capital of Charleston Enterprises which makes charitable donations out of its taxable profits to the Trust. Charleston Enterprises Ltd. has a separate board of Directors made up of Jonathan Prichard, Dinah Casson and Michael Farthing.

What's on

27 NovSold out
Woodcut Christmas Card workshop

Due to popular demand we’ve added a second Woodcut Christmas Card session with artist Helen Brown. Helen More

Paper Cutting workshop 01 Dec
Paper Cutting workshop

Tutor Su Blackwell will guide you through the delicate art of paper cutting and sculpting, working More

Charleston put to Bed (c) Fewster 02 Dec
Charleston Covered

Join us over this special weekend to discover the processes at work ‘behind the scenes’ as More

Christmas wreath workshop 04 Dec
Christmas Wreaths and Garlands workshop

This day long workshop will guide you step by step through the art of Christmas wreath More


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