Rebooting maintenance on a national scale

19 projects unlocked and 200 specialists employed thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund

Our charity rescues at-risk historic buildings and transforms them into holiday accommodation for everyone, the lettings income directly maintaining these special places. In March 2020 our income evaporated overnight, freezing our maintenance programme.

After the months of uncertainty which followed we were delighted to receive support thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund designed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Two major grants awarded via the Major Works Programme, a key strand of the Heritage Stimulus Fund administered by Historic England, enabled critical work at Landmarks across England.

‘The Landmark Trust suffered major financial blows as the pandemic unfolded, each lockdown cancelling the holiday bookings on which our charity relies and in turn wiping out crucial conservation repair projects. The Culture Recovery Fund halted this domino effect, providing a vital key to get skilled craftspeople back in action. Thanks to the Fund, Landmark directly or indirectly employed 200 specialists across 19 maintenance projects, stretching from the tip of Cornwall to the top of Northumberland. In the face of uncertainty, the Culture Recovery Fund had a tremendous impact on Landmark’s ability to employ experts, train new generations and together care for precious heritage.’
Dr Anna Keay OBE, director of the Landmark Trust


Discover the projects

Woodspring Priory

The Culture Recovery Fund grant enabled masonry repairs to sections of the Cloister, Chapter House and the boundary wall at Grade I-listed Woodspring PrioryWorks to the boundary included the consolidation, stabilisation and the adding of a soft cap, with areas rebuilt as necessary. We have also repaired to the Mounting Block at the Gatehouse entrance.

Situated within a Scheduled Ancient Monument, much of Woodspring's extensive site is constructed of Lias stone which, once it loses its protective face, becomes particularly vulnerable to erosion. Landmark's senior surveyor Richard Burton worked with Michael Vaughan and John Beauchamp of Somerset-based Benjamin and Beauchamp Architects, who recently worked on our restoration of Winsford Cottage Hospital, local archaeologist Vince Russett and Orchard Stonemasons. 

Cawood Castle

A gatehouse and small domestic wing are all that remain - above ground - of the once-sizeable Cawood Castle, principal palace of the Archbishops of York from the 13th until mid-17th centuries. With nationally important archaeology, the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

We have undertaken a range of works including significant roofing and fabric repairs across the building, in addition to specialist conservation cleaning works and a series of digital measure plus condition surveys. Landmark's surveyor for the north Stuart Leavy led the project, working with Andrew Wiles of Wiles Maguire Architects in York and consultant ecologist Madeline Holloway.

Delabole slate reroofing

At Lower Porthmeor near Zennor, a transformative project to structurally stabilise, repair and reroof the three linked barns in Delabole slate has been completed. We have removed failing cement sheet roofing and undertaken masonry repairs, installing new timber rafters and purlins in the traditional style. We've reroofed with a traditional Cornish scantle slate covering, wet-laid using lime mortar and local Delabole slates.

Given the complexity of the work and coastal location, a team of highly local specialists were involved, including Looe-based quantity surveyor Tim Deakin from Peegleys, structural engineer Kathy Gee from James Lockyer Associates in Liskeard, archaeologist Eric Berry from Redruth, Truro-based Cornwall Environmental Consultants and Landmark’s surveyor for the south-west Mark Cox. Principle contractor Paul Carter, of Paul Carter Construction and Renovation Services Ltd, has expert knowledge of the distinct West Penwith vernacular architecture and is himself based in Treen. Paul's team included Tony Farmer, Mark Drew and Dale Jackson, all local.

Pictured are Paul (left) and Kathy (right) deep in conversation.

Schedule Ancient Monument repair at Crownhill Fort

Crownhill Fort manager Ed Donohue has been able to fix water ingress at Fort's gatehouse, plus complete a project with Orchard Stonemasons to repoint walls at the entrance.

In addition, Le Page Architects based in Plymouth, resumed work to repair fabric of the Royal Artillery Store. Prior to Coronavirus, a first phase of this work had created a structurally sound watertight shell. Thanks to the grant, the second phase has reinstated surface water drainage, renewed the floor, removed unsympathetic paint from the internal historic walls and we've additionally inspected the steel beams supporting the roof.

Calverley Old Hall

During preparatory works for our major project to restore Calverley Old Hall, we were astonished to discover Tudor wall paintings in an upper chamber. Thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund we were able to bring forward the urgent task of re-roofing the solar and parlour blocks, enabling the protection of these remarkable paintings. 

Discover more about Calverley

Traditional lime at Brinkburn Mill

In March 2020 Andrew Wiles of Wiles Maguire Architects, a conservation-accredited architect in Yorkshire, was working on the consolidation of historic ruins beside Brinkburn Mill but had to stop suddenly with lockdown.

Thanks to the grant, Alnwick-based Brendon Teasdale of Teasdale Masonry carried out the specialist work, which involved the use of hot lime mortars. Students from New Durham Collage visited for several training days, covering a range of topics including the difference between Hydraulic and Non-Hydraulic binders, the lime cycle, plus the mixing and preparation of Hot Limes, gauged and non-gauged mortars. During the visits, students were also able to undertake practical hands-on pointing work.


Stabilising the curtain wall at Stogursey Castle

Orchard Stonemasons completed work on the Grade II*- listed curtain wall at Stogursey Castle in Somerset. This project was the latest phase in our long-term stabilisation work to the extremely friable local lias stone, traditional preventative maintenance to slow down the decay process.

Local businesses on Lundy

The grant supported vital repairs to several of Lundy’s precious buildings. At the Old Light, conservation craftspeople Charlie Smith and Rachel Thompson, from the aptly named Old Light Building Conservation, completed repairs to the cantilevered staircase within the tower, including replacing all the lower sections of the rusted spindles that have long been damaging the granite steps. Mike and Ben from family-run business Somerset Forge were heavily involved with welding in and shaping the new spindle sections.

Rachel and Charlie also repointed the weathered gable of the former Lighthouse Keeper's accommodation block with lime mortar and undertook repointing works around Millcombe House, all to help keep damp from the Atlantic gales at bay.

These vital works will now allow safer access to the lighthouse for Lundy visitors and keep the weather out for guests in the popular accommodation.

Rachel and Charlie said, ‘Thank you Culture Recovery Fund! We are so happy that this much-needed work is able to continue. Not only for the sake of this magnificent building but also for the help it will give our fledgeling business to stay afloat, following the devastating impact that the pandemic has had upon the heritage organisations who employ us.'

Halting rainwater damage at Methwold

Kings Lynn based D&E Builders installed new cast-iron gutters and downpipes at Methwold Old Vicarage, reinstating ironwork pictured in newly discovered photographs from the 1970s. The will prevent internal water ingress damage at the delightful, Grade-I listed vicarage. 

Precious fabric at Shute Gatehouse

In spring 2020, work was about to start on much-needed external masonry repairs at Shute Gatehouse in Devon.

Local firm Orchard Stonemasons have completed work to repoint stretches of the main structure, turret rooms and connecting walls in traditional lime mortar. This preventative maintenance work will ensure the structure remains weather tight.