Gallery: National Trust defends restoration of Peckover House

THE National Trust this week defended a £150,000 restoration scheme at Peckover House in Wisbech, after a Fenland couple highlighted a similar project carried out at a fraction of the price. Ian and Tina Walker – who restored a derelict listed building in

THE National Trust this week defended a £150,000 restoration scheme at Peckover House in Wisbech, after a Fenland couple highlighted a similar project carried out at a fraction of the price.

Ian and Tina Walker - who restored a derelict listed building in Coates - said it "beggars belief" the National Trust would spend so much on one project.

Their comments were accompanied with details of a similar project in Hampshire, where a greenhouse was replaced at a cheaper cost.

However, the National Trust said the project at the Wisbech home included substantial repair to Peckover's historic Orangery; the creation of a new heating system and the maintenance of services.


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"Only part of the cost relates to the propagation house," said National Trust spokesman Neil Champion.

"We looked at the possibility of repairing the existing structure, but it turned out the costs for doing so were significantly higher than for a new build aluminium system."

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The project in Hampshire saw original iron work restored and the greenhouse replicated in timber.

Mr and Mrs Walker said: "This restoration was completed over winter, at a fraction of the cost of the proposed new metal greenhouse soon to be erected at Peckover House. On scale the two structures are similar in size.

"It beggars belief that the National Trust have opted for a very costly alternative to the original greenhouse when, within Cambridgeshire, there is a wealth of craftsman with the knowledge, skill base and the passion for saving heritage - however grand or every-day."

Mr Champion said: "The new build will more than meet the gardeners' requirements and its design reflects the horticultural needs of the property.

"Although it is a modern product, the end result will reflect the proportions and symmetry of its Victorian predecessor."

Work to replace the old propagation house started last month and is set for completion next spring. The project will see the working area of the garden re-opened to visitors.

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