One of Beeston’s oldest houses has been transformed into a dance studio. The grade II listed building, historically known as the ‘Manor House’, is now also home to ‘Manor Arts’.
Catherine Chivers, an experienced dance teacher, who has lived at the Manor House for 9 years and runs Manor Arts, has created a range of creative classes for both children and adults.
Children’s classes include a number of theatre classes – ‘Let’s Create’, ‘Theatre Tots’ and ‘Theatre Group’ – which aim to develop dance, drama and musical skills, ‘Baby Ballet’for 2-4 year olds and ‘Ballet and Tap’ for 5 to 11 year olds, a fun class which combines the two genres of dance together.
For adults, Manor Art’s offers Beginner’s Tap Dancing and ‘Fitstep’. ‘Fitstep’ is a new dance class that has been devised by Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite from the ITV television show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and is Catherine’s most popular class.
After a successful first week Catherine now wants to extend classes to children and adults with special needs and learning difficulties.
“I just absolutely love the experience with such fantastic people and I’d love to be able to offer support and creative classes for people with additional needs as well”.
Catherine Chivers, OWNER OF MaNOR ARTS
‘Manor Arts’, which can be found on Middle Street and is a short walk from Beeston Centre Tram Stop, aims to become an arts based venue for the community of Beeston.
“I really hope Manor Arts will become a community arts venue. I have plans to rent out the facility for baby massage, Yoga, Pilates and other dance and fitness classes. I’d also like to use the facility for arts and crafts events if possible in Beeston too”.
Catherine Chivers, OWner of
Although Manor Arts is a new facility for Beeston , the Manor House, situated next to the new venue, has been a significant part of the town’s history.
The Manor House was awarded a blue plaque in August 2012 for it’s historical significance and is one of 34 blue plaques that can be found in the area. The Manor House has a wealth of history and is a survivor of a past time.
History of the Manor House
The building was originally timber-framed but was rebuilt in brick in both 1675 and 1725.
Only two families occupied the Manor in the space of 400 years.
The first family to own the house was the Strey Family, who were lay impropriators. They were considered to be an important local family. The Strey’s held lordship from the 16th century until the 19th century.
The last Strey family member to live in the Manor was Richard Strey. He died in 1797 and the house was passed on to a cousin.
In 1840, the Manor House was bought by a surgeon named John Orton, who gave the Manor to his daughter when she married Benjamim Baker Venn in 1866.
The Venn’s, a family who had lace making and hosiery interests, were the next family to occupy the Manor. They occupied the house up until 1978.
The house now belongs to Catherine and Mark Chivers, which they bought in 2007. Catherine has developed what used to be the Manor’s old garage and horse stables, into Manor Arts.