Toolerstone is a not for profit ‘creative escape’ situated in private gardens in the Cheshire village of Sandiway. We offer a variety of day long creative workshops, in subjects including gardening, floristry, willow weaving, painting, photography and more, all inspired by nature and the garden setting.
The majority of our workshops are ‘gifted’ to those who deserve a creative break in their lives; people who work in the care industry, in hospitals and hospices, who dedicate their lives to looking after others. We want to say ‘thank you’ to them by offering them the chance to escape for the day in a safe, nourishing environment.
Our workshops are also offered to the general public and businesses and we extend the same ethos of ‘escape. create. nourish’ through every single one of our days. Any funds that come from selling our courses will help us to maintain and sustain our offering for the future.
The Toolerstone Story
Toolerstone House is a Grade II listed property, thought to be one of the oldest in Sandiway village. The original sand stone house is thought to date back to c1640 and was used by the monks and their animals from Vale Royal Abbey. The name ‘Tooler’ stone derives from a block of sand stone used for cleaning horses hooves, which currently rests on a public footpath away from the house. The house has been added to significantly over the years. The Pilkington family added on to it c1900/1920 and we have also added to it extensively during our time here putting on the tower and glasshouse pool area (now a classroom). When we first arrived there were no formal gardens, just a bordered front garden and a lot of paddock. Today you will find a large pond area, a designated vegetable garden and several other formal gardens, all created and maintained by our head gardener, Simon, and his team.
A Personal Message from Camilla
Personally, I find that being in the garden, surrounded by nature, brings many benefits to my mental and physical wellbeing. Finding inspiration for my creativity in this environment allows me to be immersed in the seasons, encouraged to be present in the moment. The connection I have with nature and the outdoors can be extremely uplifting and I would very much like to share this feeling with others.
Are professionals in their own fields of expertise. We have a ‘resident’ tutor team offering art, willow weaving and gardening workshops and guest tutors offering a variety of creative courses throughout our calendar.
However you come to be here, we offer you a warm welcome and encourage you to spend time exploring the gardens as well as your own creativity.
Tutor of Abstract Watercolours
Tutor of Felting Workshops
Tutor of Watercolours
Tutor of Photography
Sarah Gallagher Hayes
Tutor of Willow Weaving