2016 Georgian Group Architectural Awards
Wimpole Gothic Tower, Cambridgeshire, designed in 1749 and built 1768–1772; photo, following restoration, from Treasure Hunt, Emile de Bruijn’s blog on National Trust Collections (18 August 2015). The posting includes additional views and lots more information. In May, the restoration project received a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s highest honor in the heritage field.
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As recently announced, the 2016 Georgian Group Architectural Award for Restoration of a Structure in the Landscape went to Wimpole Gothic Tower:
Restoration of a Structure in the Landscape: Wimpole Gothic Tower
The Gothic Tower, designed to look like a picturesque medieval ruin, is based on a sketch by the architect Sanderson Miller in 1749 for his patron, Lord Hardwicke, the owner of Wimpole. The design was later realised in an amended form under the supervision of the great landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown from 1768 to 1772. In the following centuries, the ruin suffered extensive and gradual damage with many important characteristics being completely eroded while public access to the Tower and landscape was near enough impossible. Located in the magnificent parkland of Wimpole Estate, the Gothic Tower presented a complex conservation challenge for the National Trust. The work called for repair of the structure, stabilization of the stonework and reinstatement of missing components of the building, while preserving the weathered beauty and original ‘ruined’ appearance.
Wendy Monkhouse, National Trust Curator in the East of England, said, “We’re delighted to have been recognized by the European Commission and Europa Nostra for the work we’ve done on the Gothic Tower—it’s the most prestigious heritage award in Europe, and it means a lot to the National Trust and to the staff and volunteers at Wimpole. Many people know and love the magnificent mansion and the eighteenth-century farm, but the Tower was an almost forgotten ruin—a kind of sleeping beauty, literally surrounded by briar roses and nettles. Now, with its reinstated crenellations triumphant on the main Tower, it sits once more at the focal point of the landscape designed by Capability Brown, whose tercentenary we are celebrating this year.”
• Restoration of a Georgian Country House: Combermere Abbey
• Restoration in the Public Realm: Sheffield non-Conformist Chapel
• The Brown Tercentenary Award: Compton Verney
• New Building in the Classical Tradition: A Chapel in South East England
• Restoration of a Georgian Interior: Crichel Grange
Details for winners and commended sites are available here»