A Grade I listed manor house in Brentford is to close for two years so it can be restored to its former glory, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured by Hounslow Council.
Boston Manor House is a Jacobean manor-house with its oldest parts dating back to 1623 when it was built for Lady Mary Reade and her second husband Sir Edward Spencer. The house is one of the earliest examples of the English Renaissance style.
The £3.7 million heritage restoration project entitled "Boston Manor: Engaging with the 21st Century", will fully restore the house, currently on the "heritage at risk" register, while equipping it to meet the needs of the modern day.
The works will include structural and building repairs and the installation of a lift to improve accessibility to all parts of the house.
The council hopes there will be an improved experience through better resources and displays depicting stories of the manor house and the people who passed through it over its 400-year history.
A dedicated temporary exhibition space will mean that there’s always something new for visitors to see, and there will be a new café and shop.
Leader of the council Councillor Steve Curran said: “This is tremendous news for Hounslow and Brentford residents, as well as the many users of Boston Manor Park.
“The restoration will make sure this hidden gem in Hounslow is made safe for the future and enjoyed fully by generations to come. We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players.”
Following the restoration, the Temple Trust, a landscape history charity, is proposing to open its first-ever public premises – an office and research facility – in the service wing of the house from 2021.
The house will be closed to the public for two years starting in early 2019, and it is due to reopen in spring 2021.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is also supporting an educational and activity programme, due to start in the community while the house is being restored. There will be new activity programmes for families and opportunities for more volunteers to get involved in the project and running of the house.
The house and grounds were bought by the local council in the 1920s and for a time the house was used as a school. Some of the rooms were previously restored and have been open to the public seasonally since the 1960s.
Chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund Ros Kerslake said: “I am thrilled Boston Manor has been awarded £3.7m of National Lottery funding.
“Heritage makes a huge different to people and the places they live. It will be exciting to see how this fantastic project progresses and the positive effect it has on the local community now that funding has been confirmed.”