Hill of Tarvit in Fife
Hill of Tarvit in Fife

Marking 39th birthday of woman born 156 years ago

Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland is hosting a birthday party for Beatrice Sharp, the driving force behind the creation of Hill of Tarvit near Cupar in Fife.

But it’s a party with a difference on Saturday, 29 February. The date marks Beatrice’s 156th birthday – or her 39th birthday as she was born in the leap year of 1864.

An impressive Edwardian house, Hill of Tarvit is lauded as the first ‘modern’ mansion in Scotland. Completed in 1904 the home was installed with the latest plumbing and electricity at the time as well as an internal telephone system.

A well-travelled woman, Beatrice grew up with her family in Dundee in the first house in Scotland to have full electric lighting. This set her good stead to work with her husband in designing their new home.

The Sharps approached prolific Scottish architect, Robert Lorimer to remodel a 17th century home in 1904. The result was a light-filled 20th century mansion filled with a collection of fine art and surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.

Beatrice’s birthday party will take place throughout the stunning mansion from 11am, with a guided tour led by the Sharp family telling their personal stories. There will also be music recitals on period instruments and a talk about the history of music by composer Jim Tribble in the Great Hall.

Hill of Tarvit in Fife

As a nod to Frederick’s tradition of giving his wife flowers for her birthday, the home will be filled with flower arrangements and in the Drawing Room visitors can take part in still life drawing classes with a professional artist. There’s also a chance to improve snooker skills in the Billiard Room.

For younger guests, there will be face painting, an Edwardian treasure hunt and board games from the time.

Geraldine Graf, events manager at Hill of Tarvit Mansion, said: ‘Beatrice Sharp was a very impressive woman during her time, and we’re excited to be sharing her story on her birthday. She had an excellent knowledge of culture, music and art and you can see her influence throughout the mansion.

‘The birthday celebrations at Hill of Tarvit will be very special and with lots happening across the day we’re looking forward to welcoming guests of all ages. Events like this help us protect Scotland’s special places and bring our fascinating history to life.’

Entry is free to anyone that shares Beatrice’s birthday (29 Feb) and standard tickets are priced at £6 per child and £10 per adult. There’s a special family ticket at £25.

For more details and timings for activities, visit www.nts.org.uk/visit/events/beatrices-birthday-party.