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December 22 2013 Latest news:
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Take a trip with us around York's latest visitor attraction
Goddards is a house built on chocolate foundations. Not literally, of course even the most sweet-toothed city planners would have had something to say about that but it is a property that owes its existence to the Terry family and their once mighty confectionary empire.
The home of Noel Goddard Terry, who retired from the family business in 1970 after 59 years service, has long been regarded as one of Yorks hidden gems, tucked quietly away off Tadcaster Road. But now it is hidden no more, thanks to the National Trust and its welcome decision to open it to the public for the first time.
Visitors can now wander through seven rooms of the house, which was built in 1927 and remained Noels family home until 1980 when it was acquired by the Trust as its rather glamorous Yorkshire regional office.
The gardens have been open to visitors since 2006, but the opening of the Arts & Crafts-style house allows the charity to tell the story of its illustrious previous owner, his family as well as their famous chocolate factory.
The house and gardens came to the National Trust in 1984, shortly after all the familys furniture had been donated to Fairfax House, said Holly Brett, Goddards general manager.
Weve taken a blank canvas of office space and transformed it into an exciting new visitor attraction.
They have not attempted to create a slavish copy of how the house looked when the Terrys lived there. Instead, the Trust has put together rooms that accurately reflect the 1930s style of the prosperous York family.
We selected the 1930s period as it was a time when the family were settled in their new home and the factory was going through a successful era, Holly explained. There was the introduction of the Chocolate Orange at the start of the decade, and a visit by the royal family to the factory in 1937.
The Terry family supports the Trusts decision to open the house to the public. In fact, Noels daughter Betty Lawrie has been actively involved throughout, helping with research and sharing stories, photographs and memories.
Weve been incredibly grateful for the support of the Terry family; especially Betty, said Holly. We only hope weve done her and her family proud.
Goddards now boasts a tearoom, serving light lunches, drinks, afternoon tea and cakes using recipes from the original Terrys tearoom and chocolate shop in St Helens Square.
Were very excited to be opening another chapter in Yorks chocolate history, said Holly. The people of the city have such a strong connection to the Terry family and their factory, with many having family or friends who worked there.
Goddards will be a continual work in progress, as the house is not a like for like display of how the Terrys used to live. We have flexibility to change the rooms and create new displays as we gather research and uncover new stories.
Goddards is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11am to 5pm. Parking is very limited so visitors are encouraged to walk, cycle or catch a bus. For further information visit nationaltrust.org.uk/goddards.