Gunnersbury Park restoration receives major heritage grant
Gunnersbury Park has received another big boost to its transformation, with a grant for £457,695 from Historic England [HE], formerly known as English Heritage.
The money will go towards additional repairs to areas of the historic park and its buildings, including the Gothic Ruins and screen, garden terraces and garden grotto. The funds will also help restore attractions such as Princess Amelia’s Bath House.
In the 1760s the estate was purchased and held in trust for Princess Amelia, the favoured daughter of King George II.
Gunnersbury was the venue of her new summer retreat away from the pollution of central London. Over the next 25 years Amelia made numerous changes and improvements to the grounds. This includes the Bathhouse that was constructed as a garden folly in Gothic style.
The grant is for the repair and restoration of the Gothic screen, including all the castellations and pinnacles, repair of the brickwork and buttresses of the Grotto walls. The terraces will be cleared of all undergrowth, and rubble and debris will be cleared from the vaults under the terraces.
Works as a result of this grant began at the end of February and is set to be completed on 30 June.
This award complements projects already underway in other parts of the park supported by a £51m Heritage Lottery Fund grant to return Gunnersbury Park to its former glory.
Ealing and Hounslow councils have worked closely with Historic England to draw up comprehensive plans to rescue the estate and place it on a firm foundation, so it can continue to serve the local community for generations to come.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “This is fantastic news and we would like to thank Historic England for the grant and their support for our project here at Gunnersbury.
“It is through the help of heritage organisations and charitable foundations like this plus volunteers and local supporters, that once again, Gunnersbury will be a major heritage and recreation site.”
Nigel Barker, London Planning Director for Historic England said: “It is wonderful to see works beginning to revive the beautiful Gunnersbury Park.
“Our grant will allow the full repair of some of the park’s most stunning features, from the Gothic ruins to the garden terraces, and will take us one step closer to removing the whole park from the Heritage at Risk Register. The repairs undertaken will transform the eastern edge of the park, making it safe for local people to use and enjoy while allowing them to better appreciate the site’s rich history.”
Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council, said: “We have been working closely with Historic England throughout the development of Phase 1 of the masterplan and are thrilled this additional grant will ensure the transformation of the park can go ahead. The funds will make a huge difference to what can be achieved in the park.”