AN EXCITING project to restore an Elizabethan country house in East Lancashire has just been completed.
Extensive refurbishment has been carried out on Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham by heritage specialist Conlon Construction over the past eight months.
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Months of painstaking work has been carried out to repair decaying external stonework and windows at the Grade I-listed building as well as other internal and external remedial works to restore the building fabric to its original condition.
The vital works, commissioned by Lancashire County Council Museum Service, were undertaken to restore the stunning façade on the hall’s south, north and west elevations.
The hall, which is operated on behalf of the National Trust, remained closed to the public throughout the programme of works carried out by the Preston-headquartered contractor.
Gawthorpe Hall holds the North West’s largest collection of portraits, and collections of intricate lace, embroidery and needlework.
The hall, described as "an Elizabethan gem in the heart of industrial Lancashire", is situated on the banks of the River Calder.
The hall isSometimes referred to as the "Downton of the North", although not so grand, Gawthorpe was redesigned by Sir Charles Barry who also redesigned Highclere Castle, the filming location for ITV’s Downton Abbey.
Michael Conlon, Conlon Construction chairman at ,:said: “We have a lot of experience in heritage projects and understand the skill, materials and budgets required to deliver this project of this nature.
“Thanks to TV programmes such as Downton Abbey, there’s a renewed interest in stately homes, so we’re pleased to have delivered a programme of work that will further extend the life of the building.”
County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “Gawthorpe Hall is a very special building that we operate on behalf of the National Trust.
“Because of its importance, we’ve invested a significant amount of money in the conservation project to preserve it for the future.
“The hall has been closed since last May and we are delighted that the work has been completed on time and that the public will be able to enjoy visiting it again soon.”