West Yorkshire market town is to mark the tercentenary of England’s most famous furniture maker Thomas Chippendale, with the month-long Celebrating Chippendale: Otley’s Famous Son, June 2018 festival, as well as the launch of a Chippend’Ale beer and a new town walking map

Otley, the West Yorkshire birthplace of England’s finest furniture maker Thomas Chippendale, today announces full details of its Chippendale 300 programme to mark the tercentenary of the famed cabinetmaker’s birth in 1718.

Events at the month-long Celebrating Chippendale: Otley’s Famous Son, June 2018 festival include a birthday party in what could have been his former school, a concert of 18th-century music in the church where he was baptised, talks by Chippendale Society members, and an Antiques Roadshow-style event.

To further mark the birth of Chippendale, Otley is producing a celebratory Chippend’Ale beer in conjunction with Otley-based micro-brewer Paul Briscoe and Harrogate’s Daleside Brewery, planting a riverside Chippendale-inspired flower bed in Wharfemeadows Park, and launching a self-guided walking tour of 18th-century Otley. Town poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard, meanwhile, has produced a Chippendale-inspired poem, Thomas Carved Our Town.

Chippendale, often called the country’s first interior designer thanks to the penning of his seminal work The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director in 1754, was born in Otley in June 1718, with his baptism recorded in the annals of All Saints Parish Church on June 5 of the same year.

While his fame came after leaving Otley for London in his early 20s, it is thought he may have learnt many of his skills while working with his father joiner John Chippendale. The pair worked together on Farnley Hall, a stately home outside Otley that is owned by the Horton-Fawkes family, and at Harewood House, then owned by Henry Lascelles.

For more on Otley see Visit Otley, for more on Thomas Chippendale’s 300th anniversary see Chippendale 300


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