Muncaster Castle in Cumbria is set to receive a lifeline grant towards essential restoration from the Historic Houses Foundation.
The Historic Houses Foundation is a major beneficiary of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, recently announced by the UK Government and Historic England, which will provide invaluable support for restoration work on some of England’s most important and vulnerable historic buildings.
The Historic Houses Foundation will now be able to set in place a programme of urgent work that would not otherwise have been possible. Over the past 17 years the Foundation has distributed over £11 million in grant aid to nearly 250 vital restoration projects in England and Wales.
The Historic Houses Foundation is one of the leading funders of architectural conservation and one of the only bodies able to support buildings in private ownership. The nationally recognised expertise of its eight volunteer Trustees makes it ideally suited to identifying those projects most in need of support and after careful consideration, 18 nationally important properties across England were selected to benefit from these funds – of which Muncaster Castle is one.
Muncaster Castle is one of the Lake District’s most popular attractions, loved as much for its ghost tours as for its works of art, its Himalayan gardens and its Owl and Hawk Centre. The Pennington family have been here since 1208, although the medieval castle was extended by Anthony Salvin in the 1860s. The main gateway into the Victorian Service Courtyard has become unstable and is unsafe for visitors. Restoring work to the stonework and ironwork over the course of the winter will extend the visitor area.
Work will begin immediately and continue over the winter months before the start of the new tourist season in Spring 2021 and is expected to provide welcome employment to a wide range of traditional craftsmen and building professionals in addition to other local employment opportunities.
Peter Frost-Pennington of Muncaster Castle said “We are delighted that the Historic Houses Foundation has offered us grant aid to assist in repairing and making safe the entrance archway, iron decorative grill and gateway to the service courtyard of Muncaster Castle. This will help us to save this area from dereliction and is the first step in helping us to transform it into a beneficial space to stimulate future uses and public access.”
Norman Hudson OBE, Chairman of the Historic Houses Foundation says “Our grants go to historic buildings in all categories of ownership, so range far wider than the National Trust. That we have been selected as a Delivery Partner for this money indicates that the Government likes what we do and recognises the exceptionally cost efficient way in which we achieve it. It is good news for historic buildings and good news for jobs and the local community”
For more information about the Historic Houses Foundation, please visit https://www.historichousesfoundation.org.uk/
For more information about Muncaster Castle, please visit www.muncaster.co.uk