WALKING a mile in someone's shoes is at the heart of a new artistic display open at Croome Court near Pershore.

Soul to Sole is an innovative way of interpreting tales of loss and survival at the National Trust mansion house was launched this week to a rapturous public response.

The artistic interpretation uses shoes to share stories about the characters who have lived and worked at Croome over the centuries and has been described as “magical” and “thought provoking”.

It is part of the £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund work to repair and open up Croome Court, so it can be shared with visitors in innovative new ways, some never seen before in a country house.

Using the 1950s boys school lockers in the basement of the house, the team at Croome have worked with researchers, graduates, new artists, shoe makers, sound designers and writers to create a new experience for visitors to explore.

Maud van den Broecke, who graduated from Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion, said: "I am so proud to be part of Soul of Sole as my passion is in shoemaking and design.

"I am in the process of creating a wide range of shoes to be placed in the shoe racks, some of which I am making in front of visitors to the house which has been a brilliant way of showcasing my work."

Visitors will be able to see Maud's work on display ranging from a reproduction of 18th century silk heels telling the tragic tale of Maria Gunning, to her interpretation of World War II in a pair of 1940s army boots.

Soul to Sole also aims to encourage new designers to create engaging installations using a pair of shoes to share Croome’s colourful history and the piece aims to develop over time, culminating in 144 original perspectives across a range of disciplines.

"As an artist from Worcestershire, I am thrilled to be part of this creative initiative," said Di Cope, artist. "I will be fashioning a pair of shoes for Queen Charlotte who, with King George III, visited Croome in August 1788. Soles touched the ground as we walk on today. The souls of those present through the history of Croome will hopefully touch and gladden the visiting public for future generations."

For more information please call 01905 371006 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/croome.