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‘At risk’ Calverley Old Hall nets vital repairs grant to protect 16th century wall paintings

Ambitious plans to carry out vital repairs on historic Calverley Old Hall can start this autumn, thanks to a grant from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. 

Calverley Old Hall’s owners, Landmark Trust, has been awarded £1m from the Major Works Programme to support four of its projects across the country.

A Landmark Trust spokesperson welcomed the grant funding, which will bring forward vital re-roofing work at the building, parts of which date back to the 14th century. The spokesperson said:

“Thanks to a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund, we can bring forward the critical task of re-roofing – the urgent need brought into acute focus by a stunning recent discovery of Tudor wall paintings.

“Previously hidden under layers of wallpapers and panelling, the 16-century decorative scheme is virtually intact and extends throughout a first-floor room, immediately below a stretch of roof in particularly poor state.

“We can now complete the re-roofing as a distinct phase of work before the imminent threat of winter weather arrives.

“This will ensure the wall paintings are protected, and the whole site weathertight, while we complete a major application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and further fundraising for the wider project – now including conservation works to the spectacular wall paintings.”

Work will be able to start immediately on the re-roofing project.

Calverley Old hall 1
Heritage: Calverley Old Hall. Photo: Jo Fiddes

WLD reported last week that Leeds City Council had granted planning permission to transform Calverley Old Hall into a 10-person holiday let with a community room in a bid to safeguard its future. It’s hoped a future National Lottery Heritage Fund bid will help finance the wider project.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said the support was “hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs.” He added:

“Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive.

“These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive.”

A total of 142 historic sites across England are receiving grants worth a total of £35 million. Other Landmark Trust sites to net a slice of the funding include Cawood Castle in North Yorkshire, plus Silverton Park Stables in Devon and Woodspring Priory in Somerset.

It grants are administered by Historic England. The Culture Recovery Fund is part of the rescue package by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to secure the future of England’s cultural venues dr=uring the Coronavirus pandemic, first announced in 2020.

Calverley Old Hall, parts of which date back to the 14th century, is Grade I listed and is of special architectural and historic interest. It’s also listed on the city’s Heritage At Risk register.

For more of WLD‘s coverage of Calverley Old Hall, follow this link.

More Calverley news and views can be found here.


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