Thursday, 18 August 2016

Accolade for Combermere

COMBERMERE ABBEY in Shropshire has been named winner of the 2016 Restoration Award presented by the Historic Houses Association and sponsored by Sotheby’s. The house, owned by the Callander Beckett family since 1919, had suffered severe deterioration over a number of years. The award has been given for the most recent full restoration of the North Wing, but also in recognition of the 24-year project to bring the whole house back to life.  

The house is at the heart of 1,000 acres of farmland, woodland, and park, with a 150-acre lake. Its origins date back to the 12th century, and its history has encompassed Royal purchase, the dissolution of the monasteries, the impact of England’s 17th century revolution, and extensive re-modelling in the early 19th century. Combermere was placed on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register in the 1970s.

Since then, the stable block has been converted to create nine holiday cottages, and the library, formerly the Abbot’s Hall, the North wing and ancillary buildings have been restored.

Sarah Callander Beckett says: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to have won this very prestigious award and to have been recognized by our peers in this way. The restoration of this wonderful place has been my mission since inheriting it in 1992 and has taken my family and me on an extraordinary journey over the past 24 years. To finally see the abbey without scaffolding, standing proud in the landscape as it was designed to be makes it all very worthwhile and I hope will give encouragement to others in a similar situation fighting to save these remarkable treasures.’

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