Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT), with partners Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and Museums Worcestershire (MW), was recently awarded £5M by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to preserve Hartlebury Castle and its assets.
The Trust can now buy Hartlebury Castle and its surrounding 43 acres of parkland. We will work in partnerships with Worcestershire Country Council and Museums Worcestershire, who run the County museum based at Hartlebury Castle.
Together we will:
- transform the current visitor experience by opening up the Bishop’s house, gardens and grounds as part of the visit,
- improve facilities to better share the Castle, Hurd Library and gardens with existing and new visitors,
- introduce compelling interpretation that tell the stories of Hartlebury Castle, Hurd Library and Worcestershire,
- create opportunities for people to get involved through learning activities and heritage skills training,
- provide volunteer opportunities for children and adults,
- involve local communities and specialists in the site’s future,
- develop a programme of events and activities to attract a wide range of audiences,
- develop a sustainable business plan to manage Hartlebury.
Our project will:
- Save Hartlebury Castle and its treasures for the nation by ensuring public access and beneficial management.
- Restore and upgrade the Grade I Castle and the Grade II Stable Block for 21st century use including new lift access to all floors.
- Restore key elements of the 18th century landscape that have got overgrown and neglected, especially around the Moat where the views from the Castle over the park will be opened up.
- Create access through the grounds by means of a circular path around the estate and restore the 18th century gardens.
- Transform the visitor experience by making the Castle a key feature of a visit to Hartlebury with its rooms displayed as they would have been when used by the Bishops.
- Introduce a range of site specific imaginative and engaging interpretation to tell the stories of Hartlebury Castle’s heritage.
- Maintain the Hurd Library in situ and increase access to and understanding of its collections.
- Encourage participation by providing new volunteer facilities, training and support.
- Improve visitor facilities such as increased car parking, a new accessible cafe, and an adventure playground.
The project will make the history, culture, beauty, and architectural significance of Hartlebury accessible for local people, visitors from the region, tourists to the area and researchers, national and international.
The whole project will take two and a half years. Architectural design work, early building work, and landscaping will take place in 2015. Building works and and garden restoration will continue through 2016. During this time tours and volunteering opportunities will continue to give access to the Castle, Hurd Library, and grounds. The Castle will formally open in its new form in June 2017.
Our aim is that in ten years Hartlebury Castle will once again be Worcestershire’s historical powerhouse.
Over the coming months we will provide updates on our progress and tell you more about our plans for Hartlebury Castle.