Make Your Mark!

The Rosebud Centre for Girls discovered the hidden treasures of Ranger’s House and with the help of artists from the Creative Futures programme, learned how to make their own!

Polymer clay crafts made by girls from Rosebud Center

In December 2020, we teamed up with Rosebud Centre for Girls, and three talented young artists from the Creative Futures programme in Bristol to explore some of the hidden treasures in the Wernher Collection kept at Ranger’s House.

Tucked away at Ranger’s House,  a Georgian mansion in Greenwich, are over 700 works of art that were once collected by Sir Julius Wernher in the late 19th century. Described as one of the finest private art collections in Europe, the Wernher Collection contains beautiful medieval jewellery, ceramics, bronze sculptures and even Renaissance paintings.

Ranger's House in Greenwich

The Wernher Collection

Creative Futures artists Teddy, Tilly and Skye were given the task of designing a project that would open up the collection to local young people from Greenwich and the surrounding areas in a creative way that would inspire them to take an interest in the history that’s on their doorstep.



They came up with the idea that we would explore the connection between objects and our own identities through different creative activities around storytelling, sculpting and making. To make sure everyone could get involved, we posted art packs to everyone who signed up with information about Ranger’s House, colouring sheets, sketch pads and pencils, which really got everyone excited for our sessions.

The two sessions were jam-packed with creative activities all about objects. We all brought something that was meaningful to us and talked about why our objects were special, we got stuck into creative writing activities using random words to tell stories, we guessed what different objects from Ranger’s House were, and then learned how to make our own coil pots.

Making coil pots

Our art packs

By playing games, leading sessions, developing plans, and making pots, we learnt all about Ranger’s House, and created new ways for people to discover history, alongside enabling young leaders to gain valuable experience and practice.

“I enjoyed the freedom I had whilst working on the project – it was really up to myself and the other project leaders to organise the workshops, from creating the session plans to facilitating the sessions. I think coming together as English Heritage and Creative Futures is an incredible way to get young people into history – I grew up in London and if I had the opportunity to learn about historical sites in a creative way, I definitely would have taken it up!!

I also enjoyed seeing the young people’s excitement when they received their packs – it was really nice to be able to give them an experience they may not have had, especially considering the current world situation! …Coming from a low income background, youth clubs and creative outreach gave me not only a sense of community, but skills and confidence I may never have gained. It is a wonderful feeling that I may have contributed to that in a young person’s life, and I am really grateful to have had the experience.”

Teddy, Theatre Director and Playwright

“At the moment with Covid and all the restrictions it was easy to think that we would become super disconnected with not only meeting new people but also with the world around us as we couldn’t go out to explore different places, but doing this project really opened my eyes to how actually it can be an opportunity to collaborate with people around the country that perhaps you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with if things had been face-to face. I also learnt how even though we can’t go to see too much now, that there is so much we can still find out about the places we want to travel to and get excited for for the future.

It was also really interesting coming up with creative workshops that centred around historical sites, it wasn’t something that I’d ever done before, but it was amazing to see how invested you can get different age groups into learning new things when there’s artistic activities surrounding it. These workshops really taught me how you can connect with young people in a dynamic and interesting way, and how more often than not they will come up with such great ideas and enthusiasm that they can lead the way!”

Tilly, Actor and Writer

I loved delving in to the history of Ranger’s House and working out how it could inspire thoughts on artistic identity and creativity in young people. I learned that heritage and history can be relevant to a person in unexpected and important ways and that anyone should feel free to explore the past and develop their own opinions and thoughts on it. Working on this project reawakened my eagerness to use historical research and workshop based learning in my own storytelling!

Skye, Multimedia Performance and Textiles Artist