National Lottery saves London’s hidden heritage

The Arab Hall at Leighton House Museum
The Arab Hall at Leighton House Museum
Three at risk historic London buildings will share a £7million National Lottery lifeline.

The three buildings are Boston Manor, Leighton House Museum and Newington Green Meeting House.

With their heritage unknown, inaccessible or at danger of being lost forever, this funding will reverse the fortunes of the buildings and open up their hidden heritage for everyone to enjoy.

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “Architecture, art and radical thinking – these sites represent some of London’s fascinating hidden heritage, but are in need of urgent attention.

“Thanks to National Lottery players however, these buildings are set for strong and exciting futures, saving our heritage and ensuring it is no longer hidden.”

[quote= Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London] “Thanks to National Lottery players these buildings are set for strong and exciting futures, saving our heritage and ensuring it is no longer hidden.” [/quote]

Boston Manor, Brentford

Boston Manor is a rare double-pile Jacobean manor house full of fascinating architectural and social heritage, including a rare example of an 18th-century wallpaper depicting roman ruins, thought to be some of the oldest surviving in England.

At 400 years old however, it is at risk from subsidence and deterioration, putting the building and its collections in jeopardy.

London Borough of Hounslow has been awarded over £3.7m for vital restoration work and to allow visitors unprecedented access – including some areas, which are currently completely closed.

Newington Green Meeting House (NGMH), Hackney

Built in 1708 as a meeting house for dissenters, NGMH gained fame as a centre for radical ideas and welcoming people of all faiths and none.

Its most famous minister, Dr Richard Price, had a strong influence on the ‘foremother of feminism’ Mary Wollstonecraft, earning the site the epithet ‘the birthplace of feminism’.

However, the building is deteriorating and inaccessible, meaning it can only open to a very limited number of visitors.

New Unity, which looks after the building, has been awarded £1.73m to save it and return it to its original purpose as a place for community, people and ideas.

Leighton House Museum, Kensington

Leighton House Museum was the home and ‘private palace of art’ of Frederic, Lord Leighton.

It was bombed twice during the Second World War and underwent some unsympathetic changes. Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been awarded £1.6m for the next stage of work to restore the building to its former glory.

Restoration work will save The Perrin Wing, which is currently unfit for purpose. New facilities and outreach activities will turn the museum from a hidden gem to a national treasure.

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