A Hill to climb

PUBLISHED: 05:13 29 December 2006 | UPDATED: 19:53 01 June 2010

AN appeal has gone out to raise £50,000 for a special renovation and expansion project of the early home of National Trust co-founder Octavia Hill. The Octavia Hill Birthplace House in Wisbech is set to be transformed thanks to a £900,000 cash grant from

AN appeal has gone out to raise £50,000 for a special renovation and expansion project of the early home of National Trust co-founder Octavia Hill.

The Octavia Hill Birthplace House in Wisbech is set to be transformed thanks to a £900,000 cash grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

But despite the huge sum of money, more is still needed to complete the ambitious project.

Now a massive fund-raising drive is again in full swing to raise the remaining money.

The money already pledged, which includes £98,000 from the European Development Fund, will be used to buy the freeholds of two buildings next to the museum at South Brink Place.

One of these will be refurbished and used to expand the museum display area, while the other will be used for education and research. It is hoped that the extended museum will be open by March, 2008.

Trust chairman Peter Clayton said: "The trust itself has already raised £130,000 through fund-raising and pledges, but we still need to raise a further £50,000."

Octavia Hill, who was born at 1 South Brink in 1838 and died in 1912, founded the National Trust with Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley in 1895.

The three reformers were concerned about the impact of uncontrolled development and industrialisation and set up the trust to act as a guardian for the nation.

As well as founding the National Trust, Miss Hill was also a pioneer of housing reform.


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