Thursday, 4 February 2016


SAVE's press release in full:

3 February 2016 
Press release: Preservation trust to acquire Wentworth Woodhouse
SAVE is delighted to announce that agreement has been reached with the Newbold family on the purchase of one of the finest and grandest historic houses in Britain, Wentworth Woodhouse.

The property will be purchased by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) and will continue to be open to the public. The public opening of the property will be supported by the National Trust for the first five years. It is hoped completion of the sale will take place within two to three months.

The £7m pledged for the acquisition includes a £3.575m grant offer from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and grants from the Monument Trust, the Art Fund, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement and the John Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust. Pledges and donations have also been received from many individual members of the public. SAVE and the trustees of the WWPT extend their warmest thanks for all pledges and support received.

The long term strategy is for the public to visit and enjoy all the most interesting parts of the property while restoring the others for revenue-earning uses such as events and holiday lets with business units in the stables. Traditionally a historic house of this size would have required a vast endowment.  This business model will provide a substantial income stream intended to cover both running costs and periodic bouts of repair.

Extensive repairs will be phased over 10 to 15 years allowing time for funds to be raised and the work to be carried out in phases while the property is opened to the public.

The Trust will build on the pioneering work of the Newbold family in opening the house to pre-booked visitors for the first time on a regular basis.  An annual Clifford Newbold lecture will be held to mark the work of the Newbold family in opening the house to the public.

The trustees of the new WWPT are: The Duke of Devonshire, Lady Juliet Tadgell, Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland, Julie Kenny (Chair), Timothy Cooke, Martin Drury, and Merlin Waterson.

For more information please contact Marcus Binney or Mike Fox at SAVE on 0207 253 3500 or, or Julie Kenny, Chair of WWPT, on 01709 535218

Notes to Editors:

The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust has been established to secure the long term future of Wentworth Woodhouse.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975 by a group of architectural historians, writers, journalists and planners. It is a strong, independent voice in conservation, free to respond rapidly to emergencies and to speak out loud for the historic built environment.

Press release issued by SAVE Britain’s Heritage,
70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ
Registered Charity 269129
Tel. 020 7253 3500 Email

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Announcing The George B Clarke Prize


A biennial prize of £2,000 has been launched by the Hall Bequest Trust in association with The Georgian Group in recognition of the great contribution that George Clarke has made to Stowe in Buckinghamshire. In the course of over sixty years, the historian and champion of Stowe was a Chairman of the Hall Bequest Trust, which aims to support Stowe through acquisitions and education. 

Stowe House (a school since 1923) was built as a summer residence of the Temple-Grenville family, and in its completed form remains amongst the grandest of eighteenth-century mansions. From c.1688-1810 it was remodelled in numerous phases by many of the leading architects of the age including Vanbrugh, Gibbs, Kent and Soane, though the family also took a personal involvement in aspects of design. Recent restoration work has spurred new research and interest. Yet the magnificent landscape gardens which remain remarkably intact are no less interesting. They are owned by the National Trust which has recently invested heavily in replanting the early Georgian gardens and creating a new visitor centre.

Much remains to be discovered about Stowe, as its cultural context is notably broad, while the 350,000 historic Stowe papers are held at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California, with which George Clarke was instrumental in developing a close working relationship.

The £2,000 Prize will be awarded for original research pertinent to Stowe within the fields of architecture, architectural history, the material arts or landscape design.

To apply, please e-mail your research proposal to by 30 June 2016. The winner will be invited to write an article arising from his or her research, which will be considered for publication in The Georgian Group Journal, and to give a lecture within three months of completion of the research.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

A warm welcome to our new Secretary

Dr Jonathan Foyle joins the Georgian Group as Secretary from 13 January, succeeding Robert Bargery, who has decided to move on to new challenges after fourteen years' distinguished service marked by innovations such as the annual Architectural Awards. 

Dr Foyle holds wide-ranging interests in the built environment, having trained in architectural design, art history and archaeology. Beginning his career at Canterbury Cathedral, he curated the conservation and presentation of the multi-period architecture of Hampton Court and Kew Palace. As Chief Executive of World Monuments Fund Britain from 2007, he campaigned, fundraised, and advised on numerous major Georgian buildings such as Stowe House, St George's Bloomsbury, Shobdon Church in Herefordshire, John Knill's Monument in St Ives Cornwall, and Walpole's Strawberry Hill. A regular speaker, Financial Times writer and award-winning BBC presenter, he is author of three monographs on English cathedrals and honorary Visiting Professor of Conservation at the University of Lincoln. Dr Foyle says:

"I am delighted and honoured to join the Georgian Group, an essential, admired and deeply experienced statutory body with a vigorously engaged membership. I look forward to helping the Group optimise our work in what are challenging times, when we need to speak more clearly and convincingly than ever on the importance of understanding, looking after and enjoying the wonders we've been so fortunate to inherit from the long- and very broad- eighteenth century."

Robert Bargery said: "I am delighted to be leaving the Georgian Group in the excellent hands of Jonathan Foyle, who combines a deep knowledge of historic buildings with a great ability to communicate his passion. With him at the helm, the charity is well-positioned to meet the challenge of protecting and preserving Georgian buildings and landscapes".