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Successful Funding Application for Summerhouse on the Charlton House Estate

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is delighted to announce a £47k funding grant from Historic England, for works to the 17th century Summerhouse on Charlton House grounds and estate. 

Charlton House, built between 1607 and 1612, is considered to be the best surviving example of a Jacobean Manor House in London. Built in the 1630s, twenty years after the main house and following the new classical austerity of Palladianism, the Summerhouse has long been held to be designed by Inigo Jones. At a time when the Newton family were residing in the main house, the Summerhouse’s purpose is presumed to have been that of a prospect house, for use during the summer months for dining and enjoying fantastic views over Greenwich and the City of London.

In 1936 the building was dramatically altered to accommodate public toilets, and this particular use continued into the 1990s. During WW2, a German V2 rocket landed next to the main house causing significant damage and, repair work was undertaken by the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich in the 1940s when much of the structure was replaced with London Stock Brick.  

During 2017 and 2018, thanks to generous grants from the World Monuments Fund and a donation from the Friends of Charlton House, the trust carried out works to remove the majority of the 1946 repairs, without damaging the original fabric of the building. This work was carried out by students from London South East College under the direction of architect Charlie MacKeith.

This generous grant from Historic England will allow for essential investigations, development work and repair to take place, which will form part of a much larger restoration project.  The vision of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is to restore the building to its original condition and put the building back into use, allowing public access and enjoyment.

Works are planned to commence in February 2020.

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