Introduction to the projects
WMF Britain’s activities are tailored to the needs of the heritage in question. We will always aim to raise the profile of a site and to build partnerships with building preservation trusts, NGOs or professionals but the centrepiece of our work is conservation management out in the field.
While we are involved with many projects, we focus our principal fundraising and conservation management energies on a smaller portfolio of projects. Typically this will be up to ten projects at any one time, both within the UK and outside it.
WMF Britain is currently at work on the following projects and we would welcome any donations towards their progress:
WMFB is working in partnership with the most important Jacobean mansion in Greater London, Grade I listed Charlton House in Greenwich.
Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town, Zanzibar, was built by British missionaries in 1879 on the location of the last permanent slave market in East Africa and is a site of international historic and cultural significance.
WMFB joins forces with Coventry Cathedral to launch an appeal to safeguard the 2012 Watch listed ruins of St Michael, open the crypts beneath and display the faces in beautiful salvaged stained glass.
The five graveyards within the World Heritage Site represent an important but largely untapped cultural resource. In many views they are clearly an integral part of the historic fabric and character of the city. Their unassuming portals are doorways into a richly evocative world, which still has the power to disturb and startle with the otherness of the past.
A Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has overlooked the City of London since 604AD. It’s architectural and artistic importance reflect the determination of the five monarchs who oversaw its construction. WMF and American Express’s sustainable tourism initiative is supporting a project to improve the visitor experience, public access and facilitating the display of historical artefacts for the first time. Already the project has one prize.
Stowe in Buckinghamshire is renowned for its beautiful landscape and for its school, which has since 1923 been the saviour and guardian of the magnificent eighteenth-century mansion at the heart of the site. Today the restoration and public presentation of Stowe House is a central commitment of WMF Britain, working in partnership with the Stowe House Preservation Trust.
Although elements of its twelfth century origins survive, this small country parish church now has the most complete Rococo Gothick interior in the UK, including all the furniture, and is architecturally one of the country’s most important churches.
WMFB commences a new project at Winchester Cathedral to conserve elements of the seventeenth-century High Altar canopy.
Examples of WMF Britain’s completed projects are:
WMFB first discussed the significance of Knill’s Monument in 2011 on BBC One’s Inside Out programme, and went on to launch an important conservation project to secure the future of this historic 1782 memorial to former Mayor of St Ives and customs collector John Knill. The scope of work, completed in November 2013, included repointing the structure and analysing and restoring the original paint scheme of the commemorative shield.
WMF Britain completed its first public art project in the North East of England during the summer of 2013. This community-focused initiative transformed historic buildings across the region into family-friendly artists’ studios complete with children’s art carts and Artists in Residence, and celebrated artwork inspired by the region’s rich heritage in an exhibition at Durham Cathedral.
“St George's Hall is one of the most magnificent buildings in Liverpool, and it is fitting that its restoration is complete in time for Liverpool’s 800th birthday and prior to the city taking up its title as the European Capital of Culture in 2008.”
In essence Walpole's 'built essay' on architecture and gardening. As one of the group of Thames-side villas that survive from the 18th Century, Strawberry Hill's significance in architectural style, political history and connections to the life of Horace Walpole is compelling. WMF Britain recognised this importance with its Watch Listing in 2004 and the facilitating of Wilson match funding.
The field of conservation technology is constantly updating itself through developments in scientific innovation, and WMF Britain needs to be at the forefront on this. This project at Hampton Court provides us with an opportunity to utitlise the latest technology for the benefit of these ten terracotta roundels.
When it comes to investigating the work of an architect as well-researched as Robert Adam it is unusual for the results to be as exciting as those recently uncovered at Headfort. We have revealed a decorative scheme of highly unusual detail and colour variation – unlike that seen in any of Adam’s other works – beneath the cheerful debris of a busy boarding school.
“The surviving sculptures by Cheere in the gardens of the Palace of Queluz are critically important to the history of English garden sculpture and the conservation of the largest collection of lead sculpture outside this country is of high importance...”
Not for nothing is Westminster Abbey known as the ‘Valhalla of the nation.’ Its significance as a coronation site and burial place is renowned. But imagine the responsibility of looking after such a crowded and ancient place, with so much to maintain.
“When the trees are in bloom, the shutters are flung open and the sun strokes the finely decorated parquet of the romantic Hall of Muses, rays of light glitter across the glass panels in the Glass Bead Salon and the original silk walls of the Small Chinese Cabinet reflect gold in their threads.”
Nicholas Hawksmoor, protégé of Sir Christopher Wren, built 6 churches resulting from the 1711 Act of Parliament which demanded '50 new churches in London.' His most idiosyncratic work combines baroque splendour wand classical references with the most eccentric spire in London.
The column presented us with two major challenges, the first being the structural damage caused by the lightning strike, and the second being that the column was in fact in private ownership.