Two painstaking revivals of English country houses shared the main prize at the Georgian Group Awards, sponsored by Savills and announced at Christie’s last week. Anthony and Elizabeth Fortescue’s Boconnoc House in Cornwall (pictured) and James Hervey Bathurst’s Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire (which is 200 years old this year), shared the award for best restoration of a Georgian country house.
Boconnoc, for which the architect was Stephen Tyrrell, lay empty for 30 years from 1967 and its gentle revival is the culmination of an 11-year plan, in which 18th-century paint was reinstated and the dramatic staircase Soane inserted into a tower of 1250 repaired. At Eastnor, where the architect was Caroe and Partners, dulled interiors have been meticulously brought back to life.
Savills’ Crispin Holborow, a judge, comments: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the energy, commitment and attention to detail that goes into restoring these landscapes and buildings, many of which would otherwise fall into disrepair. The architectural quality of those built from new seems to improve year on year.’
The Georgian Group’s award for outstanding achievement went to Stowe House and Land-scape. The urban restoration award was won by Troels Holch Polvson’s London town house, 16, Queen Anne’s Gate, and the best re-use by Roehampton House, London SW15, formerly a hospital and now apartments. St Peter and St Paul, Cherry Willingham, Lincolnshire, took the church award and Kensington Palace (Country Life, October 3) was the garden/landscape winner.
The obelisk built to commemorate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Tusmore Park, Oxfordshire, was judged best new-build in the Classical tradition and the Giles Worsley award for a new-build in the Georgian context was won by Williamstrip at Coln St Aldwyns, Gloucestershire.
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