Chairman, Norman Hudson considers Winter 2018

Updated: Jun 18

Norman Hudson, Country Houses Foundation Chairman

The Country Houses Foundation has been giving funds to rescue rural historic houses and associated buildings for 15 years.

Kelmscott Manor
Kelmscott Manor, one of the projects funded this quarter

So far the Foundation has given £10 million to 220 projects, many of which have gone on to win awards – but we are proud of them all. While not in the league of the Heritage Lottery Fund, we give significant sums that can start a project, make a restoration possible, or save an individual building (or part of a building) that might otherwise be lost. We are one of the very few funds that give to privately-owned historic buildings, subject of course to there being some public benefit, usually in the form of a degree of public access.

We are now entering a new phase. The smaller Heritage Conservation Trust, which has been grant-aiding the restoration of paintings under the aegis of Historic Houses since 1990, is to be merged with the Country Houses Foundation, which will be renamed the Historic Houses Foundation. The intention is that the work previously carried out by the Heritage Conservation Trust towards the restoration of paintings will continue but the main thrust of our endeavours, that is restoration of rural historic houses and associated buildings, remains unchanged.

This quarter we have given funds to six extraordinary buildings. Interestingly, each is in an entirely different type of ownership: a local authority, a charitable trust, a learned society, a religious foundation, a school, and one in the care of the National Trust. Further information can be found on this site under ‘Current Projects’.

Insofar as we require the benefits of legacies and donations to be able to continue our work at the same rate, we are delighted that Historic Houses are promoting and encouraging those with an interest in the conservation of historic buildings to look towards the Historic Houses Foundation.