Top conservation award goes to Mount Stewart
Mount Stewart, on the shores of Strangford Lough is no stranger to world class awards and recognition. Now the famous house which is looked after by the National Trust can add another accolade after winning the UK’s top prize for conservation.
Last week it scooped the building conservation award at the 2016 RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Awards.
The honour recognised the conservation charity’s £8m restoration project which brought this family home back to its former glory.
Jon Kerr, general manager at Mount Stewart said; 'We are really proud to have collected this award and I believe it recognises the hard work of the project team and the hundreds of volunteers that made it all possible. We are particularly proud that we were able to keep the house open during this huge project so that our supporters and visitors could see conservation in action.
'It was a hugely exciting project that brings this family home back to its former glory and truly showcases the history of this special place. As a result of the restoration we now have a range of previously unseen rooms open to the public combined with an art collection to rival any museum or gallery in the world. If you haven’t come to visit us since we reopened there is lots to see this autumn.'
Judges said the project used 'highly innovative' techniques to 'repair serious structural defects throughout the property'.
'Judges were further impressed by the clear collaboration in pioneering the approach of undertaking the works whilst maintaining the building open to the public with the highly successful outcome of increasing visitor numbers and visitor experience,' the judges said.
Mount Stewart won the award ahead of competition from projects across the UK including Cardigan Castle in Wales and the Garden Building at Oxford University.