Fulham Palace: Another Brick In The Wall

Fulham Palace: Another Brick In The Wall

Through the stories of the Bishops of London, Fulham Palace chronicles over 1300 years of English history. Now local people can help preserve the buildings for future generations to enjoy

Approaching Fulham Palace, for 12 centuries the home of the Bishops of London, it looks much the same as usual, albeit with signs of building work in progress. Only when you get closer does it become clear that, in fact, a huge shroud imitating the Tudor brickwork is covering the facade.

It’s all part of an ambitious £3.8 million restoration project being masterminded by Fulham Palace Trust. ‘That brickwork is 500 years old and some of it needs to be replaced,’ explains Siân Harrington, the Chief Executive. ‘So, we’ve launched a Sponsor a Brick campaign. It’s also a fantastic way for local residents to literally build the Palace’s future. We have two types of brick available (each is made using lime mortar and fired in a wood kiln) costing £20 or £50. The sponsor can sign their brick, which will then be in the walls for centuries to come.’

Following 18 months of intensive preparation and planning, specialist contractors finally began work in February. ‘When the last Bishop left Fulham Palace in 1973, it was in a fairly bad state of repair,’ says Siân. ‘While we’re focusing primarily on preserving the fabric of the building, in particular the Tudor courtyard, we’re also taking the opportunity to improve how we tell the fascinating story of the Palace.

‘We will have a welcome area, a museum and exhibition space near the main entrance and we’re going to bring historic rooms such as the Great Hall to life with new historical interpretations. We’ll even have pods suspended from the ceiling in which visitors will be able to hear the everyday sounds of the Palace in the past.’

Even before Fulham Palace became the residence of Waldhere, the Bishop of London circa 700, there is archaeological evidence of the site’s occupation by Neolithic, Iron Age and Roman settlers. From Tudor times, it was largely a ‘rural’ summer retreat, only in the 20th century becoming the Bishop’s principal home. Until 1939, the Palace (over 100 rooms) was occupied by one family and a full retinue of servants. Today, it still belongs to the Church and the Grade One-listed buildings comprise a Tudor manor house with Georgian additions and a Victorian chapel.

The Palace will remain open during the works, which are due to be completed in May next year. So, the Trust’s popular programme of events and activities for all ages will continue as usual. These include the weekly Palace Explorers sessions for children aged two to four years-old, concerts and open-air cinema evenings, History tours and Garden walks (once enclosed by the longest moat in England, 13 acres still remain of the original 36). The Palace will also continue to be available for hire for weddings and private and corporate special occasions and parties.

‘In addition, we’ll be putting on a series of interactive Brickfest events,’ says Siân. ‘There will be brick making and brick laying demonstrations by heritage experts and our sponsors will be able to personalise their bricks before they are placed seamlessly into the walls.

‘There’s already so much to see and do here all year round, both inside the Palace and in the beautiful gardens. The restoration project is very exciting and we’d love everyone to come along and see what we’re up to. And, of course, sponsor a brick!’

Fulham Palace
Bishop’s Avenue,
Fulham,
London SW6 6EA
+442077363233
admin@fulhampalace.org
http://www.fulhampalace.org
Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Fulham Palace</strong> Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA
Fulham Palace
Bishop’s Avenue,
Fulham,
London SW6 6EA
+442077363233
admin@fulhampalace.org
http://www.fulhampalace.org

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