Restoration appeal aims to raise £350,000 for wing

A £350,000 fund-raising appeal has been launched to save a crumbling 18th century building at historic Croome Court.

The National Trust bought the badly run-down Red Wing, a former servants’ quarter at Croome marked in the highest category on English Heritage’s At Risk Register, in October 2011.

Since then it has been working with architects, surveyors and structural engineers to assess the full extent of its decay and what exactly needs to be done to save it.

It is estimated that a rescue and repair project will cost more than £1 million and this week an appeal was launched to raise £350,000.

The balance will be met by a £500,000 grant from English Heritage and National Trust’s own funds.

Red Wing project manager Shaun Wilkes said: “We urgently need the public to donate whatever they can to help us save this precious building.

“But it’s not just the physical building we’re trying to save.

“We are also searching for local people who have memories of the Red Wing when it was in use as the servants’ area of Croome Court, or who know of family members who used to live or work there.”

Any information received will support an oral history project being run by the Friends of Croome group.

The Red Wing is attached to Croome’s mansion house and was built in the 1750s. It was in use well into the 20th century, with servants based there until the 1940s. However by the turn of the century it was empty and its condition has deteriorated rapidly over the last decade.

Since acquiring the building, National Trust has erected scaffolding and carried out emergency repairs. Depending on the success of the appeal it hopes to start proper repairs this winter and complete work to the structural shell by 2014.

Appeal donations can be made by going online at nationaltrust.org.uk/redwingappeal or by calling 0844 8001895.

Cheques made payable to ‘National Trust’ and marked ‘Red Wing Appeal’ can be posted to: National Trust, PO Box 39, Warrington WA5 7WD.

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