The Historic Houses Association (HHA) and Sothebys
are delighted to announce today that Chillington Hall in Staffordshire is the winner of the HHA/Sothebys Restoration Award for 2009, following strong competition from some 35 entries around the UK. The HHA/Sothebys Restoration Award is now in its second year and last years winner was Markenfield Hall in Yorkshire. Three runners-up -- Westonbirt in Gloucestershire, Wilton Castle in Herefordshire and Boynton Hall in Yorkshire -- have also been highly commended this year.
Discussing this years award, Edward Harley, President of the Historic Houses Association, states: The judges have been delighted to consider such a wide range of projects, all of high quality, which have been submitted for the award this year. These reflect the amount of conservation work being undertaken by HHA members (in spite of difficult times) and their commitment to their properties. The extensive work carried out by John and Crescent Giffard at Chillington Hall breathes new life into the elegant rooms created by Sir John Soane and has been done to a very high standard.
The HHA/Sothebys Restoration Award was launched in 2008 to recognise and celebrate the restoration work that is continually being undertaken by HHA members throughout the UK. Restoration projects - which must cover the dominant features of a room, building or folly - are judged according to the way in which they respect and are in sympathy with the historic quality of the building. Projects must have been completed within the last two years and entries must be from HHA members. The restoration projects must also be readily accessible to the public - for at least 25 days a year - or to groups by appointment.
The winning entry, which receives an award of £5,000, should be of a nature which inspires other owners to carry out projects of a similar kind. The judging panel this year included the distinguished Architectural Historian, John Martin Robinson; Edward Harley, President, The Historic Houses Association; James Stourton, Chairman, Sothebys UK; and David Moore-Gwyn, Deputy Chairman, Sothebys UK.
Chillington Hall, situated in South Staffordshire, has been the home of the Giffard family for more than 800 years. The fine Georgian house is the third to be built on the site and it sits magnificently in the landscapes parkland designed by Capability Brown during the 1760s. Over the course of the last decade, the Giffard family has implemented a long-term strategy of essential repairs and their most recent project has been the restoration of Sir John Soanes Front Hall and the Saloon, the latter of which includes a large central oval dome and elegant lantern (1786-1789). The work has been undertaken in consultation with The Soane Museum, The Georgian Society and English Heritage. The lantern was in particularly urgent need of repair, letting in water and posing a danger from dropping glass and its renovation saw the repair of all the damaged timber, lead and glass as well as the commission of a bespoke chandelier. Furthermore, the Saloon has received extensive redecoration in colours more suited to Soanes design intentions and the chimneypiece has been restored and the cross ventilation in the dome reinstated.
SPECIAL OPENING: Chillington Hall will be open to the public every Sunday in July and every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday in August (from 2-5pm with last entry at 4pm).