17 July 2017Marble Hill House to Receive £4m restoration grant
The grant will allow English Heritage to transform the experience of visitors to Marble Hill House and Park in Twickenham.
A £4.08 million grant has been awarded to English Heritage to restore and open Marble Hill House to the public for free. The 18th-century gardens will also be renovated for future generations to enjoy. Facilities in the grounds of the house will also be developed, including the installation of a new play area for children, and a women's changing room at the adjoining sports centre which offers cricket, rugby and football grounds.
The funding announced today has been given to the Marble Hill Revived project by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund's Parks for People Programme. Planned improvements to the historic property and surrounding parkland are expected to cost £6 million, turning back decades of underinvestment.
Bringing Marble Hill's story to life
In Marble Hill House itself, new interpretation will be installed to bring the property's fascinating stories to life, particularly those of its former owner Henrietta Howard. This remarkable woman built Marble Hill House in the 1720s as a retreat from court life and as a place to entertain her dazzling circle of friends. Conservation works will also take place to the exterior of the building to preserve it for future generations. Once completed the house will be open to the public for free five days of the week, rather than only at weekends during the summer.
Working from a c1752 survey and archaeological evidence, English Heritage will also restore the lost 18th-century Pleasure Grounds, a small but historically significant area of Marble Hill which lay between the house and the River Thames and was created with the help of the poet Alexander Pope and Royal gardener Charles Bridgeman. Key features including a historic ninepin bowling alley, tree avenues and groves, hedged arcade, flower garden, orchard, terraces, and serpentine paths will all be reinstated.
Anna Eavis, English Heritage's Curatorial Director, said:
"This is a massive vote of confidence in our plans for Marble Hill and we are very grateful for this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund and Parks for People programme. Marble Hill is already a much-loved part of the local community but it has seen little investment since the 1980s. By opening up the house and revitalising the park, we will ensure that Marble Hill can continue to be enjoyed by locals and Londoners, young and old, for generations to come."
Reviving a community space
Beyond its fascinating history, for many local people Marble Hill House is known as a place of exercise or relaxation. Set among sports facilities and 66 acres of open parkland, the house is popular with dog walkers, families, runners and exercise groups.
HLF's Chief Executive Ros Kerslake, said, on behalf of HLF and Big Lottery Fund:
"It's difficult to overstate the importance of our public parks. Vital to our well-being and essential to biodiversity, they are highly valued spaces enjoyed daily by people from all walks of life. Marble Hill House and Park is one of the latest parks to benefit from over £900million of National Lottery funding, which over the last twenty years has played a crucial role in revitalising more than 800 parks across the UK."
For more information about the Marble Hill Revived project, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/marblehillrevived
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