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The Laurence Sterne Trust

The Laurence Sterne Trust was created in March 1967 and became a charity in 1968. The primary aim was to raise funds to purchase Shandy Hall and convert it to be a museum to celebrate the life and works of Laurence Sterne.

The Trust purchased the freehold of the property in 1968 and Shandy Hall has developed as a public museum from that time.

In December 2018 The Laurence Sterne Trust became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (number 1181127) in order to modernise the governance of the charity and clarify the wider public benefits of its work. Its purpose and aims are to:

advance education for the public benefit by promoting the understanding and appreciation of the life, works and continuing influence of Laurence Sterne; primarily, but not exclusively, through maintaining and managing Shandy Hall, Coxwold, and its collections as a public museum and a centre for research, education and creativity.

Shandy Hall is a small, accredited independent museum (accreditation number 1580). The Trust relies on grants, donations and income from admissions and sales to meet the running costs and maintain the historic Grade I listed property.

Trustees carry out their duties and responsibilities in a voluntary capacity. We welcome expressions of interest from anyone interested in becoming a Trustee, particularly from people with experience in the care and maintenance of historic buildings, fundraising, finance, and ICT.

The Trust is indebted to the many people who helped to found the charity and to develop it over the years. We are grateful to the many organisations and individuals who have provided financial support, to the numerous artists and writers who have collaborated with us, and to the scholars of Sterne and Sterne related research who have advised and guided us on our collections and their interpretation. Thank you!

We are especially grateful to our Curator, Patrick Wildgust, who has, since 2004, strengthened the core purpose of the museum and, at the same time, encouraged an impressive range of artists and writers to respond to Sterne and his ideas in their own work. The temporary exhibitions, usually three per year, have delighted visitors and raised the profile and status of Shandy Hall and Laurence Sterne.


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