These are interesting times for those involved in restoring the gardens of Britain’s castles and country houses. New methods of research and restoration are being implemented such as field archaeology and aerial photography, offering a new angle for those at the heart of the restoration. As a result historical features can be easily pinpointed and restoration more accurate.
In tandem with the advent of new technology, the huge amount of investment into these projects is astounding, compared with previous years. For example, Chiswick House’s restoration has recently been completed at the cost of £12 million, and Victoria Park in East London has been renovated for a similar amount. Great Dixter has cost £8 million, whilst Lowther Castle has received £9 million, part way through its renovation.
These huge sums of money come thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which has an annual budget of £375 million per annum to invest in heritage projects across Britain. The money is also helping make these heritage sites more accessible to visitors, and so considerable investment is going into parking and toilet facilities, as well as gift shops and cafes in order for the sites to have an income to maintain the restorations.
The main issue now for the HLF is to help maintain this pace of renovation amid biting budgetary cuts, although this has been alleviated somewhat by the formation of volunteer groups and private trusts, dedicated to the maintenance and upkeep of these great national symbols.
Author: Robert SmithThe post The Restoration of Britains Great Gardens appeared first on Gabriel Ash - Gardeners Corner.