The triangular, three-storey Grade II* listed castle stands on the top of Shooters Hill where it is a local landmark. Built in 1784, it commemorates a long-forgotten British naval victory against pirates marauding in the Indian Ocean. Closed to the public for 20 years, it was identified as a key project for repair in the BBC TV series Restoration in 2004 but failed to reach the finals. Thanks to the HLF grant it will be restored as a visitor attraction, educational centre and tea room. It will be run by a local trust and volunteers will be trained to act as guides, to staff the café and to assume the day-to-day management of the castle as well helping at future heritage events.
David Goodfellow of the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust said:
“We are delighted with the confirmed award from HLF, which is a major step forward in achieving our objective of restoring this unique building. There is still plenty of hard work to be done but this decision, together with grant funding support from a number of other organisations as well as significant support from Greenwich Council and the local community, has greatly increased our sense of optimism about reopening a fully-restored Severndroog Castle to the public.”
According to the mercury the £595k amounts to 70% of the total required (595000÷.7=£850k) so that leaves 255k to go, minus the £1,573 raised by sponsor a brick for severndroog = £253,427 left to go… although that particular arm of the campaign has the aim of raising £50k.
This is a significant move by the Lottery considering that that last time they earmarked money for the campaign it was for the comparatively smaller amount of £250k November 2008. It was additionally interesting to note that after Camden, Greenwich benefits from the most lottery heritage money, so I think this is a timely reminder to get behind the campaign at the grassroots level and buy your loved ones a brick (well, a sponsor’s certificate)!