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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 20:19 GMT 21:19 UK
King Charles' HQ to be restored
David Ford
The Elizabethan mansion Shaw House, near Newbury
An Elizabethan mansion which was King Charles I's headquarters during the English Civil War is to be restored to its former glory with more than 4m.

Shaw House, near Newbury in Berkshire, will be transformed with an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Grade I listed building, built in 1581 for a cloth merchant, boasts a royal suite constructed for Queen Anne.

As part of the project, a sports hall belonging to nearby Trinity School will be relocated from the house's grounds.

Battle of Newbury

News of the cash injection, for what has been described "as one of the most historically significant buildings of its kind in the country", was announced by West Berkshire Council on Thursday.

Mollie Lock, from the authority, said: "This is excellent news.

"As well as being a superb local asset, I believe the house will help secure Newbury's place on the national heritage map in the best possible way."

The E-shaped property was the home of Thomas Dolman, grandson of William Dolman, manager for the famous cloth merchant Jack O' Newbury.

The house became famous in 1644, when the King made it his headquarters during the second Battle of Newbury.

The Dolmans sold it off to the Duke of Chandos in 1721.

Civic weddings

Once Shaw House is fully restored, it will become a venue for special events including exhibitions, concerts, presentations and seminars.

It will also become the new civic wedding venue for West Berkshire, with the service moving from its current location at Peake House.

Michael Houghton, Heritage Lottery Fund regional manager, said: "It is marvellous to see that Shaw House will be put back to use again by the public.

"It is always sad for the community when a building they love stands empty for so long, so it's good to know that the people of Newbury will see Shaw House restored to its former glory and made part of their lives again."

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