£350,000 grant for historic building

PUBLISHED: 11:51 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010

A campaign to restore a historic building has hit the jackpot with a £350,000 grant. The cash has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and will go towards restoring the Queen Anne Summerhouse on the Shuttleworth estate. It now means just £87,500 is n

A campaign to restore a historic building has hit the jackpot with a £350,000 grant.

The cash has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and will go towards restoring the Queen Anne Summerhouse on the Shuttleworth estate.

It now means just £87,500 is needed to reach the £910,000 target to bring the building back to life and in use.

It is now hoped that as the cash target is very close, work on the property will start in September.

"This marvellous news from the HLF brings us closer to our vision of giving the building a new future and allowing people to enjoy and experience it," said Peter Pearce, director of the Landmark Trust, a national building preservation charity.

"We would dearly like to start the restoration later this year before the building deteriorates further but this depends on being able to raise the final 10 per cent of the project cost."

The quest to restore the 18th century folly was launched by the Landmark Trust, three years ago.

The old building, in a quiet corner of the Shuttleworth estate, is a striking edifice of fine brickwork with circular turrets at each corner.

But the roof has collapsed after years of disrepair and vegetation has colonised the interior of the building and the whole structure is crumbling away.

It was built as part of the vast landscaped gardens of Shuttlworth House and used for picnic excursions.

It remains one of the finest examples of the extravagant estate buildings that were fashionable among wealthy landowners of the time, which the Shuttleworth family were.

Mr Pearce added: "This appealing folly is an important example of our architectural heritage and one that desperately needs our help.

"As each year goes by the fabric of the building deteriorates and the cost of its restoration escalates."

Once restored the summerhouse will be let for short stays to allow people to live in and experience it.

Opportunities to learn more about the history of the building and the estate will be made available during and after the restoration including projects with local schools and community groups, and displays, walks and regular opportunities for all to visit the landmark building.

The Landmark Trust restored and opened another historic building on the Shuttleworth estate last year.

Keeper's Cottage, a 19th century gamekeeper's cottage, is in the same corner of woodland as the summerhouse and is available for four people to stay and enjoy.

It is not too late to make a donation to the summerhouse appeal. Anyone wishing to support it should contact the Landmark Trust, Shottesbrooke, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 3SW or call 01628 825920.

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