National award for Hedingham Castle
Hedingham Castle in Essex has been commended in the 2016 Restoration award, presented by the Historic Houses Association (HHA) and sponsored by Sotheby’s.
The award recognises and celebrates the work being undertaken by HHA members.
Hedingham Castle was built for Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford in 1140. It is one of the finest surviving Norman keeps in Western Europe and as such is both Grade I listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Today the castle is looked after by the Lindsay family.
Income generated from use of the castle as a wedding, event and education space over the past 15 years has been used for an extensive programme of restoration that began in 2013 and ended in February of this year.
The work undertaken has ensured that it is structurally safe and fully accessible.
Some of the most major work has been undertaken in the Tapestry Room which was reconfigured into a large accessible event space by removing an internal wall.
Other work includes the Garrison being renovated to reveal the Norman architecture, and new lighting being installed in the Minstrel’s Gallery to highlight the famous arch and Norman sculpture.
In addition, structural work was completed on the castle’s roof and exterior, and some of the castle’s previously demolished buildings were discovered using ground penetrating radar.
All the alterations were carried out following close discussions with experts from English Heritage, now called Historic England.
Richard Compton, president of the HHA said: “The vast amount of work undertaken at Hedingham is hugely impressive, not only have rooms been restored and reconfigured to make this historic building suitable for modern use, but investigations have also helped us to learn more about this fascinating castle. Hedingham will no doubt continue to play an important role in the lives of many people.”