More cash for Gunnersbury

The Country Houses Foundation has awarded Gunnersbury Park £75,000 towards the repair, conservation and renovation of the Large Mansion.

This award supports the current extensive restoration of the heritage buildings and parkland as part of the £51m programme to return Gunnersbury Park to its former glory. The Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England are anchor funders for the heritage elements of the programme.

This cash will help restore The Drawing Room, which retains its original architectural features including the monogram of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the founder of the British branch of the Rothschilds, golden carrier pigeons reminding us of the extensive Rothschild messaging system established across Europe, and golden lyres indicating how the room was to be used for musical entertainment.

Gunnersbury Large Mansion was the first Rothschild country residence in England and the interiors of the principal rooms are seen as a precursor to the increasingly luxurious interiors of later grand houses in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

The Gunnersbury Restoration project will see the restoration of the park’s historic buildings (22 Grade II and II* structures), the re-imagining of the local museum, the restoration of lost and deteriorated landscape features and planting and the establishment of a new sports hub building.

Many of the structures, and the park itself, have been on Historic England’s “At Risk” register for a number of years. Ealing and Hounslow councils have worked closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund to draw up comprehensive plans to rescue the estate and place it on a firm foundation, so it can continue to serve the local community for generations to come.

Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “We’re extremely grateful for the Country Houses Foundation’s award to the Large Mansion project.

“It’s through the help of charitable foundations, heritage organisations and the commitment of volunteers and local supporters that Gunnersbury will be restored and become, once again, a major heritage and recreation site.”

Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council, said: “Gunnersbury is an architectural treasure that is being transformed into a first class visitor attraction that people will be able to enjoy for generations to come.”

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