A £1.2 million project to refurbish and improve facilities at Boston Castle has been completed.
The project comprised the construction of a new entrance foyer, the erection of a two-storey extension within the western wall and a number of site improvements. In order to facilitate the new extension at the Castle, sections of the existing Victorian extension were also removed.
To improve access at the 18th century landmark, new stairs and a platform lift were installed and new storage areas, plant rooms and toilets were constructed. In addition, a new onsite car park was formed, access roads were installed and security measures were improved to include CCTV, metal shutters for windows and doors and flood lighting.
As part of the restoration works, battlements on the roof of Boston Castle were also reinstated using ‘Rotherham Red’ sandstone.
Boston Castle officially re-opened to the public on July 4th 2012 and was followed by a family fun day on 7th July.
Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and theHumber, Fiona Spiers, said:
“This project has totally rejuvenated one ofRotherham’s most important and interesting buildings. The programme of activities that will take place over the next four years will bringBostonCastleto the heart of the community for everyone to explore and enjoy. HLF is dedicated to supporting projects that conserve and open up our heritage for the community and visitors to learn about.”
The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Dave Pickering, added:
“BostonCastleis a much-loved historic feature and I am absolutely delighted to see it refurbished and open for public use.
“It has taken quite a while to arrive at this point and my thanks and appreciation go to the various groups of people who have worked long and hard to bring on this wonderful project.”
Work began on the Grade II listed building in August 2011 and the project was funded by Rotherham Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The funding will cover the cost of the scheme and also see the implementation of a number of educational activities that will take place over the next four years.
Conservation specialist contractor William Anelay was the main contractor on the project and Paul Hewitt Architect was the architect.
In addition to the main funding for the project the Friends of Boston Castle and Parklands also secured a £50,000 grant from Biffaward. The additional funding was used to create an events space within the exterior courtyard of the Castle for outdoor performances and teaching.
In discussing the new events space, Friends of Boston Castle and Parklands Group Secretary, Janet Worrall, said:
“The restoration ofBostonCastlewill provideRotherhamwith a new unique site where visitors can enjoy and experience culture and leisure we well as a new learning facility.
Janet Worrall added:
“It has taken ten years for the project to come to fruition and the Friends of Boston Castle and Parklands have supported the Council in their bid for Heritage Lottery funding throughout the process.
“I hope the history of the building will attract visitors from far afield as well as locally and the people of our town will have both pride and take pleasure in the newly restored building, which has been a landmark forRotherhamfor nearly 240 years.”
Abilitylifts were recently asked to supply and install their Optimum 100 Platform lift at Boston Castle to allow access to different levels of the castle, including the viewing platform revealing the panoramas across the valleys of the Rivers Rother and Don.
Their impressive Optimum 100 Platform lift was ideal for this job, as this extremely compact lift would fit into the limited space available between two main beams. As the lift can be glazed on all or any of the four sides, it was decided that glazing to the outer edge – along with the glazed entrance doors – would allow light to flow into the rest of room.
The Optimum 100 was supplied as a complete structure including the ceiling and did not require load bearing walls, scaffolding or lifting beams for installation. The lift is also up to 75% more energy efficient than other systems, as the drive motor uses only .55kw.