The immediate goal of the Chamberlain Highbury Trust is to raise the funds to restore the House and Grounds, and to create a wide ranging programme of activities which draws upon major themes in the history of Highbury.
Although superficially in reasonable condition, the house requires treatment of dry rot, roof repairs, new leadwork and rainwater goods, masonry and brickwork repairs and re-pointing, joinery repairs and local structural repairs. Some of the fine decorative interiors in the principal rooms have also suffered damage and so require restoration.
The Grounds also require significant works to reinstate the original setting to the house. These include demolishing the eyesore 1960s caretaker’s house, reopening the original driveway, removing inappropriate planting and conserving historic features like the crucible wall, gateways and the terracotta balustrade to the Rock Garden.
Alongside the repairs we will deliver a range of essential improvements and new facilities. These include the complete renewal of the building’s heating, mechanical and electrical services, a lift to improve circulation and access, and a tea room and toilets for visitors to the house and grounds. We shall create a dedicated new learning space for schools and other educational groups.
The physical works will be accompanied by a wide-ranging engagement and activity programme with new interpretation of the history of Highbury and the Chamberlains, including talks and tours, study days and courses, exhibitions and performances, and a comprehensive formal education programme.
We will also develop a vibrant volunteering programme, deliver a wide-ranging programme of public and community events and provide training for staff, volunteers, local people and partner organisations.