Milton Abbey Secures Over A Million from Heritage Lottery Fund

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Jul, 2016 04:04 PM

The historic Milton Abbey church near Blandford Forum, a 14th Century gem needing significant repair works, has received a grant of over £1.2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Milton Abbey Secures Over A Million from Heritage Lottery Fund

Photo courtesy Tony Shearn

The grant of £1,249,200 amounts to 73% of the total cost of a major visitor welcome and repair programme, urgently required to preserve the Abbey for future generations, and enhancing its integration within a stunning 500 acre landscape designed by Capability Brown.

The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said:

“Milton Abbey is one of the gems of the Diocese with a deep Benedictine tradition of prayer and hospitality with new opportunities for pilgrimage. The Heritage Lottery Fund's generous support will restore the Abbey, revitalise its internationally significant Capability Brown landscape, reveal the rich history of the site and breathe new life into this wonderful Christian site for all its visitors.”

The grant will be used to repair the key features of the Abbey including internal and external masonry, the tower windows, ceilings and vaults. Historic walks, drives and viewpoints in the grounds will be rediscovered and discreet, oak-clad pods will be installed to host toilets, a kitchen and office and storage facilities.

The Revd John Simmons, Chair of the Milton Abbey Standing Committee, added:

“It is particularly exciting to receive this grant during the period when our major multi-media exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown is running at the Abbey.

“The exhibition will be open daily from 10-5 until 21 August, featuring photos, art, film, access to selected parts of the stunning landscape, and interactive activities, especially for children.”

Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said:

“The tercentenary of Capability Brown’s birth has inspired a great deal of interest in the work of England’s greatest gardener. So there’s no better time to be embarking on this ambitious project at one of Brown’s most impressive landscapes at Milton Abbey. This National Lottery grant will breathe new life into the grade I listed building and surrounding parkland, ensuring visitors can discover its many charms for years to come.”

Notes
The project has come about as a result of a partnership between Milton Abbey School, the Diocese of Salisbury and the Forestry Commission.

Official website: www.capabilitybrownatmiltonabbey.org

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery

For more information contact Tom Williams, HLF Press Office, on tom.williams@hlf.org.uk or 0207 591 6056

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