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Visitors invited to become a part of history in £5m Ickworth project

PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:39 27 June 2019

The ambitious conservation project at Ickworth will start this year Picture: GREGG BROWN

The ambitious conservation project at Ickworth will start this year Picture: GREGG BROWN

Visitors to a popular Suffolk National Trust property are being invited to become a part of history by "leaving a lasting imprint" ahead of a £5million renovation project.

Visitors are being given the chance to sign the slate which will retile the Rotunda roof at Ickworth Picture: GREGG BROWNVisitors are being given the chance to sign the slate which will retile the Rotunda roof at Ickworth Picture: GREGG BROWN

The conservation project at Ickworth, near Bury St Edmunds, which is the largest ever undertaken at the property, will see the iconic Rotunda roof retiled later this year.

The National Trust said the 'Ickworth Uncovered' project, which also includes work on the East Wing roof to protect the collection housed inside, will safeguard the building for future generations.

MORE: Largest ever conservation project at Ickworth to begin this year

Visitors are now being asked to sign the slate which will retile the Rotunda roof with their own names and messages to make their own legacy.

The iconic Rotunda roof will be retiled Picture: GREGG BROWNThe iconic Rotunda roof will be retiled Picture: GREGG BROWN

The new slate, which is the same type which was put on the roof over two hundred years before, will begin to make its way up to the roof when construction starts in July.

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Tim Watson, general manager at Ickworth, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on Ickworth, to support our conservation project, on a roof which will be there for hundreds of years to come.

"At Ickworth's Country Estate Fayre on June 29 and 30, visitors will be given the very first opportunity to sign a slate. From a signature and message to getting a whole slate for your entire family and friends, there are affordable options for all.

"The signatures we receive will be a testament to the visitors who have and continue to support and love Ickworth."

MORE: New trail will allow more people to enjoy Ickworth's parkland

The iconic Rotunda was the vision of the fourth Earl of Bristol in 1795 - a showcase to display his impressive treasures.

During the project, construction experts will cut and shape Westmorland green slate, on site to fit the Rotunda roof, a process which was first completed at Ickworth in 1806 by the stonemasons De Carle.

In 2019, a specialist construction team will be replacing 7,000 slates weighing 42 tonnes, taking them off the domed roof and individually shaping each new slate to create the dome.

Visitors to the Ickworth Country Estate Fayre this weekend will be able to enjoy a range of activities and countryside skills, including bee keeping, wood milling, and there will also be live music, artisan street food and a children's activity zone.

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