Historic Forest of Bowland stately home receives £200k to fund essential roof repairs
Browsholme Hall, the oldest surviving family house in Lancashire, has been given the major financial boost by the Historic Houses Foundation to help make the long overdue essential repairs.
The Foundation made the award from a £2.1m. Heritage Stimulus Fund programme it manages for Historic England. Its grants help support properties in the heritage sector which have experienced very sharp falls in revenue during the pandemic, directly impacting their ability to maintain, repair and renovate their buildings. The grant will allow essential repairs to the roof of Browsholme Hall, which is badly in need of renovation.
Browsholme Hall dates back to the Tudor times. It has served as a family home to fourteen generations of the Parker family, Bowbearers of the Forest of Bowland, since it was built around 1507. The oak panelled Tudor house, which was extended in the Regency period, has an important collection of portraits and perhaps Britain’s finest antiquarian collection. The grant makes it possible to repair the slate roof, the leadwork and chimneys to ensure the survival of these historic interiors.
Owner, Robert Parker said: “We are delighted that, thanks to the Historic Houses Foundation, we are able to go ahead immediately with urgent repairs to the main roof and chimneys. "Without this funding it would not have been possible to carry out such major work and further delay in not doing so would increasingly put at risk the building, the oak panelled interiors and the historic collection.
”Work will begin immediately and continue over the winter months before the start of the new tourist season in Spring 2022. It will provide welcome employment to a wide range of traditional craftsmen and building professionals in addition to other local employment opportunities."
Norman Hudson OBE, Chairman of the Historic Houses Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a delivery partner for this important round of Government funding. As a small nimble charity, we know that the money will kick-start restoration projects postponed by the pandemic. This money arrives just as we have launched our first major fundraising campaign, which will expand our abilities to help threatened historic buildings, keeping them at the centre of their communities and creating specialist jobs.”
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: ”From local churches to ancient buildings and landscapes, the UK's unique heritage makes our towns, cities and villages stronger, more vibrant and helps bring communities together. This latest funding will help protect sites and help them build back better from the pandemic."