The Chamberlain Highbury Trust gets permission to start £300,000 of renovation work on the gardens at Chamberlain’s Highbury
The Chamberlain Highbury Trust has received ‘permission to start’ from he National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England to renovate a portion of the Grade II historic grounds that surround the suburban mansion house built by Joseph Chamberlain in 1878. The grounds were placed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register in September 2019. The property is located in Moseley, Birmingham and was the political base of Chamberlain until 1914 when he died. Work is expected to start this summer.
The ‘Highbury’s Gardens’ project will reinstate the original driveway from the Lodge up to the house, restore the rhododendron garden, open up views between the lake and the house and improve the footpath network to the east of the house.
The Trust has secured grants of £100k from both he National Lottery Heritage Fund with money raised by National Lottery players and Historic England towards the cost of the work, together with £80k from Birmingham City Council’s Highbury Trust and £20k from a local charitable trust. We hope to recruit around 50 garden volunteers to lend their skills and time to the project.
The Highbury’s Gardens project marks the first phase of a historic landscape restoration programme for the 30 acres of gardens around the house designed by Edward Milner in 1879. There are also plans to restore the house and more of the grounds at an anticipated cost of £8m.
The Chamberlain Highbury Trust was established in 2016 to restore the house and grounds with full public access. The Chamberlain family left Highbury to the City in 1918, ‘for the benefit of the citizens of Birmingham’.
The Trust’s vision is centered on developing the young leaders of the future and it has begun to pilot programmes with partners. The Trust is also establishing a wide ranging educational programme for all ages around themes including art, architecture, the impacts of colonialism and empire, nature and permaculture.