Fairlynch’s Raleigh 400 exhibition launches with seaside re-enactment
PUBLISHED: 16:29 14 June 2018
The re-enactment of a scene from Sir Walter Raleigh’s childhood marked the opening of a Budleigh-based exhibition dedicated to the explorer.
Fairlynch Museum’s celebration of the East Budleigh-born poet, solider and politician was officially launched by Lord Lieutenant of Devon David Fursdon.
Museum volunteers and schoolchildren also took part in a re-enactment of John Millias’s famous painting, ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’, on Budleigh Salterton seafront to mark the occasion.
All 150 invited guests were greeted at the Raleigh 400 exhibition launch with a chance to sample a specially-created ‘Raleigh 400’ ale.
Trevor Waddington, chairman of the museum, said: “It was a hugely successful and joyous occasion.
“The Lord Lieutenant was highly impressed with the exhibition and with the whole museum.”
John Millias’s painting, created in 1870, depicts a scene on Budleigh beach with a young Sir Walter with his half-brother Humphrey Gilbert.
The painting, on loan from Tate London, has been exhibited only three times in the town where it was first created.
As part of the exhibition, marking 400 years since the death of the explorer, children from area schools and museum volunteers took part in a re-enactment of the painting at the Raleigh Wall in Budleigh.
Three pairs of children played the parts of a young Sir Walter and his half-brother, while Rob Batson, of Budleigh Salterton Riding School, brought the explorer and poet to life on horseback.
Raleigh 400 also includes a painting by John Millias’s son, Everett, as well as a first edition of Raleigh’s History of the World book and a pair of decorative 1590s gloves associated with Sir Walter.
Earlier this year, the museum was successful in applying for a Heritage Lottery grant which has allowed Fairlynch to launch a schools’ educational programme during the anniversary year of Sir Walter’s death.
Museum spokesman Michael Downes said: “We’re keen to show that, in the run-up to the Mayflower 2020 celebrations, it was Devonians like our own Sir Walter Raleigh who contributed to the founding of the USA.”
Admission to Fairlynch Museum remains free, but there is a small charge for entry to the Raleigh 400 exhibition.