Picton Castle and Gardens in Haverfordwest received the news this week that it has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their Walled Garden Project which aims to carry out essential restoration and repairs to the unusual, rare and historically significant group of buildings within the castle grounds. £645,400 has been earmarked for the project and Ddevelopment funding of £100,000 has also been awarded to help the Picton Castle Trust to progress their plans to apply for the full grant at a later date.
The Walled Garden Project aims to save and restore these structures within their 40 acres of gardens and bring them back into sustainable use whilst retaining their character and setting. The outcome will be an accessible and secure part of our heritage which will provide activity, training and education space within the gardens with the addition of new interpretation and display areas and improved volunteer and visitor facilities and will provide enhanced opportunities for volunteer, visitor and educational engagement.
Picton Castle is a Grade 1 Listed Building, with the Walled Garden and structures within listed as Grade 2. The Gardens are also registered within Cadw/COMOS Register of Parks & Gardens as 2* and are a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Partner Garden.
Commenting on the award, Chairman David Ellis said: "We're thrilled to hear that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The castle and its gardens are a focal point for the local community and we also attract visitors from throughout the UK and worldwide, with an annual footfall of over 26,000. Well known historically for its' woodland gardens of rhododendrons and azaleas, the recent development of the Walled Garden and Peach House Wood continues to add new interest for visitors. It's great to know that we are a step closer to preserving them for generations to come. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the lovely people who not only buy lottery tickets which have enabled this Grant, but also to our loyal supporters who visit us so regularly."
Accompanying Mr Ellis to inspect the proposed site and to hear about the scope of the project, from Head Gardener Rod Milne, Simon Hart MP enthused "I am absolutely delighted that the Picton Castle Trust has been successful in its bid for lottery support and that this important walled garden is to be preserved and secured for future generations. Picton already has a wonderful castle and stunning gardens and this project will add even more interest to a fascinating place. "If you've not been to Picton then I can highly recommend it, it's one of the hidden jewels in Pembrokeshire's crown."
Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF in Wales, said "HLF is pleased to offer this initial support for the Walled Garden Project in the form of a grant of £100,800 that will help the Trust develop their plans for the garden in more detail. In doing so we believe the project at Picton Castle is an excellent investment of National Lottery players' money and has great potential to not only carry out important restoration work, but to create valuable opportunities to engage visitors and volunteers in the heritage of this site."
Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
15, St John St
or 0207 219 3000