Conservation in actionWith the help of members and donors, vital conservation projects are taking place across the historic sites in our care. Here's a snapshot of some of this essential work.
Saving an Icon: Iron Bridge
Iron Bridge is one of the wonders of the modern world. Built in 1779, it was the world's first iron bridge and it has become an icon of the Industrial Revolution. But nearly 240 years after it was built, it's showing its age. Stresses in the original ironwork and decades of ground movement are causing the ironwork to crack, putting the bridge at risk.
A major conservation programme in 2017 will see the different elements of the bridge examined, cleaned, conserved and repaired. We'll be checking everything - the iron radials and braces that hold the bridge together, the deck plates and wedges, the stone abutments on either side of the Severn - and of course, the stunning iron arch itself.
The conservation work will preserve this revolutionary piece of British history that has inspired people for over two centuries. Thanks to your help, it will do so for generations to come.
Shap Abbey Restored
During the 2015 Cumbria floods, fast-flowing water from the River Lowther damaged the 15th century remains of Shap Abbey. We've spent almost £140,000 to restore the abbey's medieval masonry and to better protect it from floods in the future. We also worked with ecologists to ensure that our work didn't disturb the habitats of animals that live in the River Lowther, like rare white clawed crayfish live and a family of otters.
The work was essential to ensure Shap Abbey's future, and there are so many more sites that urgently need help. Shap Abbey is free for everyone to visit, so we make no income from ticket sales - and in fact, we look after over 250 historic places that charge no entrance fees.
Caring for Brodsworth
Visitors love discovering the story of the rise and fall of a country house at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens. Lived in by the same family for three generations, the hall stands at the heart of the gardens newly laid out around it in the 1860s, and overlooks a historic parkland. Every room and every detail tell the remarkable story of how its owners adapted to life in the 20th century, and how the house slowly declined as money and servants ebbed away.
After welcoming thousands of visitors through its doors, Brodsworth Hall needs urgent attention. We're undertaking major work to repair the revolving window shutters, mend skylights and renew the heating system. By caring for the property in this way visitors will be able to experience the story of Brodsworth for years to come. And we've installed new exhibitions to give visitors a sense of just how challenging it is to maintain a historic property like this.