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Historic Knebworth tower restoration project wins £85,000 Lottery boost

The Watchman'’s Tower from the front courtyard of Knebworth House, 1920s.

The Watchman'’s Tower from the front courtyard of Knebworth House, 1920s.

Supplied by Knebworth House

A derelict tower at historic Knebworth House is to be given a new lease of life.

The interior of the Watchman’'s Tower at Knebworth House, July 2018. Picture: Supplied by Knebworth House.The interior of the Watchman’'s Tower at Knebworth House, July 2018. Picture: Supplied by Knebworth House.

Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £85,000 for a project to enable visitor access to the Watchman’s Tower.

Katherine Dunstan, education officer at Knebworth House, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and we are looking forward to working with local schools and the community to make visiting the Watchman’s Tower a fantastic experience.”

The tower has been unused since the 1950s and has fallen into disrepair.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will focus on making the crumbling tower accessible again, learning about its historic use and the views from different points in history.

The restoration will include the installation of a staircase, floors and the creation of roof access to enable visitors to climb to the top of the tower and see the fantastic views of the surrounding parkland, Stevenage and Knebworth House itself.

A new digital app will ensure that all visitors can enjoy the views for themselves, even if they are not able to climb the stairs.

Information panels will be located at the site and role play costumes will be available for children to experience playing the role of the watchman.

David Morgan, trustee of the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust, said: “We are aiming for the renovation of the watchtower to be completed by summer 2019.

“Last year we welcomed 117,000 visitors to Knebworth House and Gardens.

“The enjoyment of those visiting in future will be enhanced by the magic of the watchtower and the tales it has to tell.”

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