South Downs house wins restoration award

JPCT-12-12-11 S115000781a  St Mary's House, Bramber, won Best Restoration in award ceremony. Group of some of the volunteers with curator Roger Linton and Peter Thorogood, owner of St Mary's House.  -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-12-12-11 S115000781a St Mary's House, Bramber, won Best Restoration in award ceremony. Group of some of the volunteers with curator Roger Linton and Peter Thorogood, owner of St Mary's House. -photo by steve cobb

A HISTORIC house in the South Downs has been honoured for its outstanding restoration despite being deemed ‘at risk’ by English Heritage.

Just months after the owners of St Mary’s House in Bramber heard to their surprise that their medieval house had remained on the At Risk Register, they have won the award for Best Renovation by the Hudson’s Directory of Historic Houses and Gardens.

Since 1984, owners Peter Thorogood and Roger Linton have laboured to bring about a spectacular restoration of the beautiful medieval house and its gardens. They were presented with the award at a ceremony in London.

Mr Thorogood, who has family links with the property dating back to the 1800s, said: “Thousands of visitors over the years have enjoyed the ancient atmosphere of tranquillity and peace, and have received a warm welcome from its knowledgeable guides and volunteers.

“The first award announced was for Best Restoration and they started saying ‘In 1984...’ and we thought it could be someone else, but then our picture came up. We are delighted about it.

“It justifies the strength, effort and sacrifice we have put in for it.

“We are delighted about it and it encourages our volunteers as well.”

Hudson’s brought in the scheme this year to highlight achievements in the leisure heritage industry and to help promote tourism in Britain.

But the future of St Mary’s House depends on the success of fundraising. For more information about donating towards its restoration call 01903 816205.