Treasured tudor building will be reborn

FRESH life is to be breathed back into one of Suffolk's most cherished Tudor buildings after heritage bosses launched an appeal to raise vital renovation funds.

FRESH life is to be breathed back into one of Suffolk's most cherished Tudor buildings after heritage bosses launched an appeal to raise vital renovation funds.

The National Trust is hoping £150,000 of works will be carried out to the interior of Melford Hall, with original decorations restored, historic embroidery protected and furniture and fittings conserved.

And the hallways of the Long Melford mansion, which have been silent for the past 25 years, will once again ring with the chimes of a collection of rare clocks which will also be repaired.

“Since 1960, extensive work has been regularly undertaken to the exterior of the hall, but no major redecoration has been taken place to the interior of the building for many years,” said Sir Richard Hyde Parker, whose family has lived at Melford Hall since 1786.

“As a result, many areas of the property have become faded and cracked.

“Their repair cannot wait any longer and it is vitally important that the money needed is raised soon to ensure the restoration of the property, otherwise significant features may be lost forever.”

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National Trust bosses say a “substantial backlog of repairs and redecoration” are needed at the building, which has a 500-year history.

A spokesman said: “The money raised will help pay for the reinstatement of the original decorative schemes in the Great Hall and staircase, and the conservation of furniture and fittings throughout the house.

“The collection of rare clocks that has been silent since 1979 will be made to chime again, important Tudor embroidery will be protected and fresh glass panes supplied to the windows surrounding the 16th Century stained-glass in the Great Hall.”

The National Trust acquired Melford Hall in the 1950s, and little work towards interior decoration and conservation has taken place since due to costs, as insufficient endowment was available.

However, the body says it is keen to preserve the building for future generations, and is now asking for donations towards the project.

Anyone who wants further information on the Melford Hall appeal should contact Beth Hill, regional donor development manager, on 01284 770556.

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