22 Nov 2013
A unique collection of natural history specimens has been reassembled for the first time in a century – thanks to support from Anchor. The Stuffed and MOUNTed exhibition opened at Easleigh Museum on 15 November and runs until 25 January 2014.
The Mount at Bishopstoke, once home to international bankers and Victorian powerbrokers, local philanthropists and Natural Scientists, is featured in the new exhibition which includes the return to Eastleigh, Hampshire, of an important collection of natural history specimens for the first time in almost 100 years.
Stuffed and MOUNTed covers the history of The Mount until the present day as Anchor’s newest retirement village, Bishopstoke Park. It reveals how The Mount became a museum of natural history and showcases the work and a taxidermy collection by former owner Thomas Atkinson Cotton and his wife Charlotte. It also covers the history of the people who have lived there since 1844, including Richard Gilman, a founder of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and HSBC Bank and Captain Thomas Hargreaves, a local benefactor who paid for many community endowments including The Bishopstoke Reading Rooms - the first school in Bishopstoke.
The Mount is currently undergoing a major restoration by Anchor and will have a new future in the heart of Hampshire, as Anchor’s Bishopstoke Park retirement village. Anchor is sponsoring the exhibition to ensure that the history of The Mount is preserved and made accessible to local people.
Ian Knox, Anchor’s Bishopstoke Park General Manager said: “We are thrilled that we have been able to create a new future for The Mount as Bishopstoke Park. Stuffed and MOUNTed is a great way to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the property and share this with the local community in Eastleigh”.
Curator, Tom de Wit, said: “It is wonderful that this great building with such a story has been saved by Anchor and it is important that the building will house a new community in Eastleigh. I have been astonished at the influence of the people who have lived in this house. The Great Tea Clipper Race of 1866 is legendary – legend of these ships is immortalised by The Cutty Sark, the last of the clipper ships. The scientific work of Thomas and Charlotte Cotton – studying & classifying species - was laying the foundations for all future discoveries, from DNA to modern genetics. And the fact that they had a passion to spread this knowledge and encourage education is truly inspiring.”