Restoration works commence at Cranford Park
Thursday 30 June 2022: Hillingdon Council held a ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday 23 June at Cranford Park to officially mark the start of a project to restore the site into a thriving visitor attraction for future generations.
In March, construction firm Quinn London was awarded the contract for the project and they started setting up on site last month. Fencing has been erected around the construction area and cabins installed for the duration of the works.
Temporary lighting has been fitted in the cellars and stables, and surveys and photography reports were commissioned to document the condition of the site.
Work has now begun on clearing the brick and stone rubble from the cellars, reinforcing its vaulted roof to guard against damage from the construction above and clearing the topsoil so that the café foundations can be laid on the walls of the former house.
AOC Archaeology, which has been leading archaeological excavations at the park during the past three years, are overseeing the works to the cellars to advise contractors and record any new walls or structures uncovered.
Work on the stables will start in August/September, once the bat roosting season is over. There will be special arrangements to protect the bat population through the installation of hot boxes for them to roost in and special access tiles will be put in the roof. Ecological consultancy Middlemarch Environmental will be on hand to guide contractors.
During the next few months other restoration highlights include repairing the garden walls and 'ha-ha' (a sunken trench which acted as a boundary to the park without interrupting the view); landscaping and extending the car park; reinstating the driveway to the front of the former house and creating a playground in the Pleasure Grounds.
Although the park will remain closed to vehicles throughout the construction period, it is still open to pedestrians and cyclists and all pedestrian entrances and most of the paths will remain open. The Church of St Dunstan's remains open for worship.
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the overall budget for the scheme is approximately £4 million and the works are due to finish in spring 2023.
As part of the Cranford Park restoration project, an outreach events programme is taking place on site and across the borough. More activities are set to take place as part of the Festival of Archaeology in July. Find out more at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/archaelogical-festival.
Cllr Bianco said: "I'm delighted that work has started to restore Cranford Park to its former glory and the council's investment will protect and renew this important heritage asset for future generations.
"Our outreach work is also continuing to bring the park's history to life and helping to inspire and attract new audiences, and I encourage residents to take a look at the exciting and varied events on offer next month."
For more information on the project, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/cranfordpark