Let battle commence
The 11th Earl of Darnley renewed attempts to find a long-term solution. After a public inquiry, developers was granted permission to convert the mausoleum into a palatial residence, but they went bankrupt before the scheme could be realised
With the mausoleum and surrounding woodland open to further decay and vandalism, the Cobham Ashenbank Management Scheme (CAMS) was formed in 2001. This partnership involved Gravesham Borough Council, Kent County Council, English Nature, The Woodland Trust, English Heritage and the National Trust.
From the ashes
The plight of the mausoleum was highlighted in the first series of BBC televisions ‘Restoration’ in 2003, which publicised severely neglected buildings of heritage importance.
Although not being chosen by the nation as the ‘winner’, CAMS were eventually able to provide the funding for Gravesham Borough Council to buy the mausoleum and the surrounding woodland for £150,000.
CAMS also secured £5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and later £746,000 from the Office of The Deputy Prime Minister and Union Railways, to fund the restoration.
Grand prize winner
In 2010, the Darnley Mausoleum won the ‘Conservation and Craftsmanship’ category in the Kent Design Awards, as well as their ‘Project of the Year’.