Aston Hall a triumph

By on 17/07/2009 in News

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham last night hailed the £12.5million restoration of Aston Hall as a conservation triumph.

Cllr Michael Wilkes officially reopened the Grade One listed building - hailed as one of the country's finest surviving examples of Jacobean architecture - last night.

And he enthused: “Located in the heart of the inner city, Aston Hall's survival is truly remarkable. In the mid-19th century its future looked bleak, as it occupied prime development land.

“It was thanks to the intervention of Queen Victoria that the then Birmingham Corporation stepped in with funds to buy the hall and open it to the public – the first local authority to undertake such a scheme. This refurbishment is very much in the spirit of those Victorian conservationists.”

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sports and Culture, added: “The redevelopment of Aston Hall has been a 13-year process involving more than 400 people. I'm very proud of what we've achieved.

“Aston Hall is one of the country's finest remaining Jacobean mansions, and, most significantly, one of the least altered. We're extremely proud of the work that's been done to preserve the house, and to improve its facilities for generations to come.

“The extensive work done has turned up some fascinating insights into the history of this magnificent house, which we are proud to be able to share with the public.”

Aston Hall has been closed for two years while Lottery-funded restoration and redevelopment work was carried out to improve visitor facilities.

Original features have been uncovered and restored, with many rooms reinstated to 17th and 18th century colour schemes and condition. The Orange Room, where Charles I slept, will be opened to the public for the first time.

And nearby stables have been redeveloped as a tea room, toilets and gallery for visitors.

Aston Hall will be open from 12 noon to 4pm from Saturday 18th July.

Entry and all activities are free.

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