Hampshire County Council is delighted to announce that following the award of a new grant of £630,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund it is now able to embark on Phase 2 of its development and conservation project. This new project will continue to build on the original master plan to ensure that Basing House is developed to support the ambitions for conserving the historic buildings for future generations and encouraging more people to visit or get involved with researching or looking after the site.
This blog will keep you up to date with the works as they progress over the next few months.
The main aims of the Phase 2 Project
The ‘Cow Byre’ building in the Basing Grange complex of former farm buildings (around the Great Barn) received structural repairs in Phase 1 to prevent further weakening. It will now be refurbished to complete the transformation of Basing Grange as a key part of the visitor and learning experience and as a home for community activities.
The Cow Byre will be fitted out to support practical and hands-on activities related to the ongoing research into Basing House’s history and archaeology, and the nurturing and development of skills – past, present and future – that both created Basing House and will be required to support the ongoing investigation and conservation of the site.
The byre will be available for use by community groups, for example by the Friends of Basing House or the Basingstoke Archaeology & History Society, using it as a base for their activities on the site. Groups would be encouraged to create their own exhibitions and provide workshops to support public understanding of the site, its history and conservation.
Basing House will also facilitate the use of this space by partners (like Basingtoke Technology College and the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust) to support the development and teaching of heritage and conservation skills.
To improve the understanding of the complex remains of Basing House by both restoring access to the cellars of the William Paulet’s Tudor house and installing a high-level viewing platform which will provide a birds-eye view of the remains of the Norman castle, the Tudor house, the Civil War defensive earthworks, and Basingstoke Common (site of the Oliver Cromwell’s main siege camp) and Old Basing village. Basing House is a key site in the county council’s ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ programme and this platform will become an important part of the experience for schools visiting the site as well as the general public.
Click here to see the Viewing Platform location on a site plan.
To undertake a comprehensive conservation programme on the brickwork remains in order to prevent further loss of the important Tudor architectural features of the first Basing House in the ‘Citadel’ area of the site, and also ensure safe public access.
The brickwork remains are always vulnerable to severe weather conditons, as was proved in January 2010 when many consecutive nights of very hard frost and heavy snowfall caused the worst damage in living memory. Further damage occurred in the November that year. The proposed repair and conservation programme will be comprehensive and designed to provide long-term protection