Restoration of Peterborough’s heritage
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Restoration of Peterborough’s heritage

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The John Clare Trust plans to buy and restore John Clare’s cottage in Helpston near Peterborough following a £1.3m pledge from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Restoration of the cottage, using traditional building methods, will open the 18th century Romantic poet’s home to the public for the first time.

A number of rooms will be recreated and environmental seminars, literacy programmes and creative writing workshops will be held on rural life and traditional folk tales from the 1700s.

The adjacent dovecote will house a gallery, reception area and shop.

Elsewhere, a local heritage project called Opening Doors to Hidden Heritage has been granted £54,000 by the HLF.

The project aims to provide virtual access to 50 of Peterborough’s most important historic sites. Records of local buildings and monuments, including a civil war fort and a 17th century Guild Hall, will be created from photographs, videos and archive material to show how they have changed over the years.

The archive work will be combined with recorded interviews of local people talking about their experiences, thoughts and memories of the sites.

The project will culminate in an exhibition at the Space4 gallery in the Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, which will feature workshops aimed at encouraging school children and visitors to explore how structures are built and best used.

Robyn Llewellyn, HLF manager for east England, said: “These projects will be extremely beneficial to local people and visitors alike. John Clare’s historic cottage can now be turned into a tourist and education centre and a host of historic sites in Peterborough will have their stories told. There is a wealth of heritage in this city and we are thrilled to help preserve and open it up for everyone to enjoy.” Details: www.hlf.org.uk

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The John Clare Trust plans to buy and restore John Clare’s cottage in Helpston near Peterborough following a £1.3m pledge from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
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