Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £85,000 for an exciting two-year project to restore the interior of the Watchman’s Tower at Knebworth House. The project will focus on making the tower accessible again, learning about its historic use and the views from different points in history. The tower has been out of use since the 1950s.
(The Watchman’s Tower from the front courtyard (Interior of the Watchman’s Tower, July 2018)
of Knebworth House, 1920s)
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project 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.
The support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will see the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust working in partnership with pupils and teachers from Stevenage to create and trial a new education programme for schools. Work experience opportunities will be created for young people from the local community.
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.”
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.”